Electric car charging point at Chester Services. Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA ImagesElectric car charging point at Chester Services. Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images


Used electric car supply is quite significantly exceeding demand, says Auto Trader

Time 6 months ago

The number of buyers looking for a used electric car is significantly fewer than the number of models for sale.

That’s according to Auto Trader, which says battery-powered models remain the ‘privilege of the wealthy that can afford them’.

Although the UK’s largest online used car marketplace said demand was growing, it added that oversupply was becoming a ‘looming issue’, according to commercial director Ian Plummer, who was speaking at a talk on electric vehicles yesterday (Apr 20) at the Goodwood Motor Circuit near Chichester.

He said: ‘While demand for used EVs is certainly increasing, supply for used EVs is outstripping demand already.’

Auto Trader’s data compared the supply and demand for models using percentages.

On used EVs from ‘value brands’, there was said to be 144 per cent supply but just 18.5 per cent demand.

The problem was bigger on premium electric cars though, where there was a huge 300 per cent supply compared with just 48.1 per cent demand.

Plummer said this risked oversupply and driving down used prices, which could hike up PCP payments to account for the increased depreciation.

‘Particularly for premium used EVs, supply quite significantly exceeds supply. And unless prices reduce or there’s an incentive for used EVs, we risk oversupply.

‘Without a healthy balance of supply and demand, prices have to fall, and that will affect future values of new EVs, which are coming to market in quite large numbers.

‘That then hits PCP, and it’s important to take notice of this looming issue.’

According to the firm’s data, EVs are ‘definitely not yet mainstream’, with these battery-powered models largely appealing to the older and richer with more than one car who live in a wealthier area and ‘remain a privilege of the wealthy that can afford them’.

Plummer said there was still ‘a lot to do on the road to 2030’, although he added that Auto Trader’s data was already pointing towards more demand.

Its research showed that used EV advert clicks on its website were up 50 per cent in March 2021 compared with September, while one in seven of its users was said to be looking at an EV as part of their search journey.

‘Increasingly, I think car buyers do instinctively want to make the switch, but it’s crucial to maintain this momentum and address some of the challenges in terms of price and charging infrastructure,’ added Plummer.

Ted Welford's avatar

Ted Welford is a motoring journalist for Car Dealer's parent company Blackball Media. He writes for a variety of motoring publications and tests the latest cars on a regular basis. He likes cleaning them too.

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