At the moment it surely seems like electric vehicles are the future, and according to industry titans competition is paramount. For the average-income earning consumer, however, a used electric car can be a difficult sell. After all, gas-powered cars, for similar performance, cost a lot less. Taking Tesla’s Model S into consideration, MSRP starts at around $68,000 for slightly less than 400-hp, vs the Corvette standing atop with 450-hp and costing near $55,000. The Model S also weighs more than 4,000 pounds and only goes roughly 100 miles on a charge. That’s not a great sell, however factoring in tax breaks, the fact that it needs significantly less engine maintenance than a gas-powered vehicle and the realization that trips to the gas station are no longer a factor, the EV can (eventually) pay for itself.
Unfortunately the tax breaks don’t factor in when selling a used EV, so if you’re trying to sell an EV privately you’ll need to make prospective buyers an offer they can’t refuse. The problem with most EVs is the depreciation, with cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt losing tens of thousands of dollars of value per year, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. If you’re selling your EV, no matter what you have be prepared to eat the cost of depreciation.
Unfortunately the cons list for buying an electric vehicle continues, with the overall price of the car not being worth the performance. The most powerful option for the Model S is the 90D starting at around a hefty $90,000, producing an impressive 690-hp, and still is able to go (according to Tesla) more than 100 mpge. That’s the same distance as the Nissan Leaf, which starts at about $30,000 but only has around 100-horsepower, which won’t matter if all you’re using the car for is commuting. The Tesla, however is a luxury vehicle so subjectively it’s going to be more comfortable, stable and be of higher quality. Basically, there’s still a massive gap between luxury EVs and run-of-the-mill commuters.
EVs also weigh a lot more than gas-powered cars due to batteries. Tesla’s Model S houses a 1200-pound battery. Comparing its roughly estimated 4,500-pound curb weight to the Honda Civic Type R’s modest estimated curb weight of 3,100-pounds, Top Gear’s observed 27-mpg, its estimated price tag of $35,000 and its turbocharged inline-four producing more than 300-hp, the Tesla Model S suddenly becomes a big question. However the average life span of an EV battery is supposed to be around 10 years, but the inevitable cost to replace it will be a four-figure beat down.
So, how to sell a used EV? It’s tough to create incentives out of thin air, especially when the government won’t allow them. If you’re selling your EV just to get rid of it, then no price is too low. EVs as they stand now are still very expensive, even when when selling one the losses can be disheartening, and all this just to not pay for gas, which isn’t even that expensive. Solution to selling an EV? Run it into the ground, then try to salvage parts for the apocalypse.
Selling electric motorcycles, however, is a lot easier. Granted the technology is still very new, electric motorcycles are easier to make, go farther and cost less. Zero Motorcycles of Scotts Valley, CA only charge around $10,000 for a base model motorcycle, a fully loaded more expensive model going for nearly $20,000. The fully loaded bikes go more than 200 miles, charge quickly and are fast enough. They also weigh about as much as a modern sport bike, still producing 70-hp, about as much as a Suzuki V-Strom dual sport.
Taking Zero Motorcycle’s products into consideration, the pros to owning an electric motorcycle are lonely with almost no cons to accompany them. Gas powered motorcycles already get exceptional mileage so fuel efficiency isn’t normally an issue for bikers, surprisingly Zero Motorcycles aren’t heavier than modern sport bikes, it’s belt-driven which means less maintenance and not a whole lot of power is needed to get moving. A con may be that it’s too quiet, and motorcyclists are typically grateful in dangerous situations when their bikes make noise. Another problem is, motorcycles are so cheap already in every way that there’s not a huge reason to buy an electric model in the first place.
So selling an electric car might not be the correct solution, and in fact keeping it around may prove to be more cost-effective, in a sense running it more miles ensures getting every dollar out of it. One thing to be aware of is, that depreciation sometimes lends itself to technology. In EVs it’s rapidly improving, rendering old models obsolete. Electric motorcycles suffer the same fate, unfortunately, of depreciation due to technological advances. The ultimate solution to selling an electric vehicle, it seems, is to not sell it at all.