Battery-Powered Bargains? Assessing Electric Vehicle Resale Value in the United States

Roberson, Laura A., *Pantha, S., & Helveston, J.P. (2024) “Battery-Powered Bargains? Assessing Electric Vehicle Resale Value in the United States” Environmental Research Letters. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ad3fce

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The resale market will play a critical role in expanding plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) adoption to middle- and lower-income households. Understanding PEV depreciation trends in comparison to those of conventional gasoline vehicles (CVs) is critical for assessing PEV affordability and informing relevant policy, such as subsidies for used PEVs. We deliver comprehensive, high-resolution estimates of value retention rates at the make-model level in the United States for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and CVs using a database of 9 million used cars listed online between 2016 and 2022. While BEVs and PHEVs have depreciated at faster rates than CVs, this trend is changing, with newer model year BEVs and those with larger ranges have significantly higher retention rates than older model years with smaller ranges. Tesla BEVs are a notable exception following the opposite trend, with earlier model years holding their value better than newer model years. Subsidized BEVs in the new market are associated with lower prices for the same model in the resale market, with the $7,500 federal subsidy translating to a 3% lower resale price on average. Finally, disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic have affected affordability across all vehicles, with mean listing prices rising 37% and 39% for CVs and BEVs, respectively, from January 2020 to March 2022 in inflation-adjusted 2019 dollars.


    author={Roberson, Laura A. and Pantha, Saurav and Helveston, John Paul},
    title={Battery-powered bargains? Assessing electric vehicle resale value in the United States},
    journal={Environmental Research Letters},
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