This used EV is more popular than Tesla’s Model S

WOBURN, Mass. – 

Tesla’s strong growth in the electric vehicle market is no secret, and that is also the case when considering used electric vehicles. A recent iSeeCars study of the most popular used electric vehicles by state provides more evidence of that.

But in the category of used EVs by market share, the Tesla Model S comes in second with a 17.8% share of the overall electric segment.

Coming out on top? The Nissan LEAF, with a 27.7% share of the electric vehicle market overall.

Why? Price is, of course, a big reason.

“Despite Tesla’s growth in the EV market, the Nissan LEAF is more popular among used electric vehicle buyers,” executive analyst Karl Brauer said in a news release. iSeeCars describes itself as a car search engine that helps shoppers find the best vehicle deals.

Brauer continued, “This is likely due to the LEAF’s affordability, with a used car price of $13,054 compared to a used Tesla Model S at $48,996, as well as its brand recognition as the first mass-market EV that’s been on the market for a decade.”

For the study, analyzed more than 54,000 used EV sales from a sample of more than 24 million used car sales from 2019 to September 2020.

LEAF most popular used EV in California

The study shows statistics about the most popular used electric vehicles by state. It highlights the most popular used EV in the top 25 states with the highest EV share, and the LEAF is the most popular used EV in California with 21.8% of market share.

Of those top 25 states, the LEAF is most popular in 18, and the Tesla Model S is most popular in the remaining seven.

The study also shows the three most popular used EVs in those states, and in Arizona, for example, the LEAF is the No. 1 used EV. The Tesla Model S comes in second in that state, and the Fiat 500e comes in third.

Market share leaders

But the study also shows the top 10 used electric vehicles overall by market share. After the LEAF and Tesla Model S, the Fiat 500e placed third with a 9.1% share of electric overall. Rounding out the top five are the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Volkswagen e-Golf.

Brauer explained that the subcompact Fiat 500e was discontinued in the United States after the 2019 model year. New versions were only sold in California and Oregon.

Regarding the Bolt, Brauer noted that it was introduced in late 2016 and became widely available across the country in August 2017.

“So they are just starting to be widely available in the used-car marketplace,” Brauer said.

The Volkswagen e-Golf, which was discontinued in the United States for the 2020 model year, ranked fifth. Brauer said it was sold in select markets and with of its 123-mile range, “it did not stand out among its competitors.”

The Tesla Model 3, which ranked sixth, was first delivered in July 2017. That vehicle did not begin a leasing program until 2019. Because of that, not many used versions exist in the used car marketplace, Brauer said.

The Tesla Model X ranked seventh, and that vehicle began deliveries in late 2015.

“There aren’t many used versions available, suggesting that consumers are more likely to hang onto these vehicles,” Brauer said.

The BMW i3 ranked eighth, the Chevrolet Spark EV came in at No. 9, and the Kia Soul EV ranked 10th.

Brauer said that with an average used car price of $18,842, the BMW i3 is more expensive than many of its competitors. “And it doesn’t have as long of a range as the Nissan LEAF,” Brauer said.

He added that the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Kia Soul EV have been discontinued. That shows not much demand existed for those vehicles, he said.

The study also shows the most popular used EV in the 50 most populous metro areas. The LEAF is most popular in 37 metro areas such as Austin, Tex., Columbus, Ohio, and Atlanta. The Tesla Model S is most popular in areas such as Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth. The Fiat 500e is most popular in Los Angeles and Jacksonville, Fla. 

Top 10 used electric vehicles by market share

Model Share of electric overall
Nissan Leaf 27.7%
Tesla Model S 17.8%
Fiat 500e 9.1%
Chevrolet Bolt EV 8.4%
Volkswagen e-Golf 6.3%
Tesla Model 3 5.9%
Tesla Model X 4.9%
BMW i3 4.8%
Chevrolet Spark EV 3.9%
Kia Soul EV 2.1%

Source: iSeeCars

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