2017 Fiat 500eEnlarge Photo
It's well known by now that the used-car prices of low-range electric cars are low.
Any 2011 through 2016 electric car not made by Tesla is likely to be cheap on a used-car lot due to worries about battery degradation and its effect on range.
Used Nissan Leafs, for instance, can often be found for around $9,000, even with only 30,000 or 40,000 miles—thousands of dollars less than a used gasoline Nissan of the same age and mileage.
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Now, it appears that the earliest of several thousand Fiat 500e electric cars first leased during 2013 are coming back to Fiat dealers at the end of their leases.
And, wow, are their prices low. How about wholesale auction prices of slightly over $4,000?
The data on those wholesale prices was compiled by auto writer (and occasional Green Car Reports researcher) Bozi Tatarevic.
The cheap lease returned electrics are coming. The 2013 Fiat 500e is running at a little over $4,000 at wholesale auctions this month. pic.twitter.com/x6DPdzlC8C— Bozi Tatarevic (@hoonable) December 28, 2016
And, he added, that should translate to a retail price of around $6,500 once the auctioned Fiat 500e hatchbacks hit used-car lots.
That means that you could conceivably pay $6,500 for a fun-to-drive, three-year-old electric car with only 30,000 to 40,000 miles on it.
ALSO SEE: 2013 Fiat 500e Electric Car: First Drive (Apr 2013)
Now, there's at least one catch: the 500e was only sold in California and Oregon, so Fiat dealers outside those two states will know little or nothing about the electric 500 variant.
While we could imagine some enterprising entrepreneur buying up the electric Fiats and bringing them to electric-car fans in other states, the service issue remains a risk.
2014 Fiat 500e - Driven, July 2014 (NWAPA Drive Revolution)Enlarge Photo
Still, we liked the little three-door Fiat 500e when we first drove it, and some owners feel it's the best car in the entire 500 range—and just as entertaining as the sporty 500 Abarth variant.
When we went on that first drive, even the Fiat Chrysler engineers who'd worked on the car seemed slightly stunned at how much fun it was.
Deals like this one could last for a while. Fiat won't say how many electric 500s it's sold, but the number could be as high as 13,000 by the end of this year.
That's a whole lot of fun, cheap, low-mileage electric cars that will need to find second homes over the next couple of years.
So what do you think? Can you find it in your heart to provide a "forever home" for a cute little Italian orphan?
Operators are standing by.