The Nissan Leaf is proving popular with used-car shoppers, according to new analysis from iSeeCars.
Nissan’s electric car was the top-selling used in EV in most states, based on a survey of 54,000 sales between 2019 and September 2020. The Leaf comprised 27.7% of sales surveyed, compared to 17.8% for the runner up—the Tesla Model S.
That’s likely due to the Leaf’s affordability. The average price for a used Leaf is $13,054, compared to $48,996 for a used Model S, according to the company’s executive analyst, Karl Brauer.
There’s a fairly wide gap between the prices of both cars when new, after all. Teslas also seem to hold their value better than other electric cars, which tend to lose value much faster than comparable internal-combustion vehicles.
Now we get to an important secondary key insight: Tesla Model S owners tend to keep their cars a lot longer.
A preliminary analysis from iSeeCars for Green Car Reports shows that over 3 times more Tesla Model S owners hold onto their new cars from the 2012/2013 model years when compared to Nissan LEAF owners. Cumulative U.S. sales through 2019 are surprisingly close—and maybe the opposite of what you might think, with the Leaf at about 142,000 sold and the Model S at 164,000.
In August, the company said the Model S was among the fastest-selling used electric cars, while the Tesla Model 3 was the fastest-selling used car overall—gasoline or electric. But the following month, it found that used Model 3 sales were heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, which decreased sharply overall used-car sales during its first months.
Whether it’s a used Leaf or a used Tesla, electric cars can be bargains. A 2017 study found that used electric cars were competitive in price and mileage on the used market with gasoline vehicles. Add in the lower running costs of electric cars—thanks to cheap electricity and fewer regular maintenance needs—and a used electric car could be a good option.