Consumer interest in used EVs is on the rise, with some of the most popular gasoline cars getting traded in for EVs, according to data compiled by retailer CarMax.
Search traffic for terms containing “electric” on CarMax’s website doubled between February 2022 and February 2023, with a peak 5.6% of searches containing “electric,” in October 2022. CarMax attributes that partly to upticks in gas prices throughout 2022.
2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV
The most popular EV on CarMax from September 2022 to February 2023 was the Tesla Model 3, and CarMax said the most popular trade-ins for the Tesla were the Honda Civic and Toyota Tacoma—two common gasoline models. Toyota was also the most trade-in brand for EVs, with the Tacoma near the top for models traded in.
Based on the data, Tesla owners were more brand-loyal. Those shopping for a Model S or Model Y most commonly traded in a Model 3. And the most common trade-in for a Chevrolet Bolt EV was its plug-in hybrid sibling, the Chevy Volt. Used-car tax-credit eligibility had a significant influence on PHEV prices, CarMax indicated late last year, when the Volt was among the most popular PHEVs in its inventory.
2021 Nissan Leaf
A similar pattern was observed with the Toyota Prius, which was most commonly traded in for a Nissan Leaf. The Leaf was also the third most popular used EV at CarMax during the period studied.
Used EV prices have been volatile. Several pricing authorities reported that used EV prices had peaked last summer, after a run-up that started before the pandemic. The recent nosedive in values has been led by the Model 3, although analysis have speculated about whether longer-range EVs hold their value better.