Consumer Alert: Why electric vehicle prices are down

Consumer Alert: Electric vehicle prices are dropping

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — If you’re thinking about buying an electric vehicle, now may be the time. For the first time, the average price of a used electric car is less than a gas-powered one.

The leading models of electric vehicles fell 27% year over year. When sales slowed, Tesla slashed prices of its new cars in 2023. After that, the prices of its used models plummeted.

Examples of price drops:

  • The used Tesla Model S and Model Y fell more than 34%
  • The Model X fell more than 32%
  • The Model 3 slumped more than 31%
  • The Roadster lost the least value at just over 27%

Why are the prices falling?

Firstly, folks who were gung-ho about electric jumped in early. Manufacturers then over-estimated consumer enthusiasm, flooding the market with EVs. Then basic economics came into play — we had more supply than demand, driving down the price on the lot.

In response, Hertz decided to sell off a third of its fleet — 20,000 electric cars for what they’re calling “no-haggle prices.”

Deanna checked out their website and found the closest EVs for sale are in Pittsburgh, like a 2023 Chevy Bolt for just under $18,000, and a 2023 Tesla Model 3 for $23,000, less than Blue Book value.

What do you need to look for when buying a used EV?

Deanna talked to the experts at Consumer Reports for answers.

“The first one is batteries,” said Alex Knizek, associate director of auto test development and Consumer Reports. “They’re powered by a giant battery as opposed to an engine and a gas tank.  What we call the health of that battery, essentially how much it can be charged up relative to when it was new, that can really impact the useful life of the car and how much range you get and just how far that vehicle can go.  The problem is it’s a little bit difficult to measure battery health. so you just generally want to look for an EV that has generally been well taken care of.”

So here’s the thing about that all important electric battery — you extend the life of the battery by not fully charging it. Instead, it should be charged about 80%. If you buy from a rental car company, you have no assurances that battery has been treated with that kind of care. Also, rental EVs may have more miles, so watch for that. When buying a used EV, examine the tires as well. The tires wear far faster with EVs than gas-powered cars. Happy shopping!

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