Electric cars are some of fastest-moving used vehicles in the U.S. (updated)


2017 Fiat 500e

2017 Fiat 500e

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Not every car buyer can afford a brand-new vehicle, which often makes gently used vehicles an appealing alternative.

But while cars that plug in take only a small share of new-vehicle purchases today—about 1 percent—they apparently move quite fast off dealer lots once they're used.

In fact, electric and plug-in cars dominate the top 10 fastest-moving used vehicles.

DON'T MISS: Deal of the year? Used Fiat 500e electric cars at $6,500?

Six of the top 10 vehicles boast some sort of electrification, and two of those are purely electric. 

According to iSeeCars, the fastest-moving used car is the Fiat 500e with its EPA-estimated 87-mile range.

We've noted it in the past, but the latest study also mentions the 500e's incredibly low resale values—which either make the car a quick mover on used-car dealership lots or suggest the dealer should immediately send it to a wholesale auction to avoid having to deal with it at all.

The 10 fastest-selling used cars in the U.S., Jan-Aug 2017, per data from iSeeCars

The 10 fastest-selling used cars in the U.S., Jan-Aug 2017, per data from iSeeCars

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The tiny electric car takes just 22.2 days on average to depart from dealer lots. The Fiat 500e's average used sale price is $9,055, and wholesale auction prices of little more than $4,000 can be spotted—something of an indicator, perhaps.

Right behind the 500e is the BMW i3, which takes only one day longer to move, on average, at 23.2 days.

The Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid sits in fourth place, while the all-electric Nissan Leaf takes the sixth slot.

CHECK OUT: Lessons learned from early electric car: 2011 Nissan Leaf at 90,000 miles

Finally, the Ford Fusion Energi and Tesla Model S round out the bottom of the list.

Note that all of these electrified cars move quicker than two used-car benchmarks: the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

However, electric cars' resale value may once again be a major factor.

2014 BMW i3 (German-market version), Amsterdam, Oct 2013

2014 BMW i3 (German-market version), Amsterdam, Oct 2013

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2017 Nissan Leaf

2017 Nissan Leaf

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2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - production model

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - production model

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Four of the six electrified cars on the list experienced double-digit price drops year-over-year; the Leaf dropped 10.3 percent to an average $11,703 price and the Fusion Energi dropped 12.8 percent to an average price of $18,699.

As it often is, the Tesla Model S is an exception to the rule: it has actually increased in value on the used-car market.

Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars, speculated that the scarcity of used Model S sedans and Tesla's general popularity has contributed to that car's used-price increase.

Used Model S sedans sold in 2017 carried prices 3.5 percent higher on average than those sold in 2016, with an average of $70,372 this year.

Across tens of millions of used sales each year, the average used vehicle takes 33.4 days to movie.

2013 Tesla Model S, in July 2017 [photo: David Noland]

2013 Tesla Model S, in July 2017 [photo: David Noland]

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Each of the electrified cars was significantly lower than that benchmark.

Either consumers are warming up to used electric cars faster than new ones, or dealerships just don't want the hassle.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published on October 1. We revised it on October 26 to take into account an interesting and likely valid point made in a . That piece starts to get to the point in the seventh paragraph, and eventually points out that the iSeeCars data set measures not time to sale but time to removal from dealer lots. That may be because many dealerships immediately send used electric cars to wholesale auctions rather than trying to sell them at retail. Franchised dealerships often find selling used electric cars challenging for the same reasons they find selling new ones challenging, especially when their salespeople know little about electric cars or their buyers.]

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