Second-hand electric vehicle market off to a sluggish start

Experts warn that only one in 100 second-hand vehicles for sale in Australia is electric, and it could take up to three years for the situation to significantly improve. This low number of used electric vehicles comes despite the increasing popularity of new electric car sales, which broke records in June and have nearly doubled this year. Olya Rudenko, the CEO of CARS24, expressed frustration at the scarcity of used electric cars in Australia, stating that out of 190,000 second-hand car listings, only 1800 are electric. She attributed this shortage to the limited supply of electric vehicles in the market.

Rudenko explained that the market for used electric cars is expected to grow when government and business fleet sales increase. However, she believes it will take several years for these sectors to catch up with consumer sales and contribute significantly to the second-hand electric vehicle market. To expedite this growth, she suggested offering more subsidies for businesses to buy electric vehicles and extending government rebates for second-hand cars.

Currently, CARS24 does not offer electric vehicles due to the shortage of stock. The company focuses on repairing and packaging hybrid, petrol, diesel, and LPG models. Dr. Chris Jones, the national president of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association, stated that the prices of second-hand electric vehicles remain high due to limited supply. However, he mentioned that certain electric car models, such as early Nissan Leafs and discontinued or traded-in Tesla vehicles, may be more accessible and affordable.

Despite the limited availability of used electric cars, sales of new electric vehicles in Australia have been growing steadily. In June, electric vehicles accounted for 8.8% of new car sales, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. In the first six months of this year, electric vehicles represented 7.4% of car sales, compared to 3.8% in 2022.

Overall, experts emphasize the need for government subsidies and increased fleet sales to boost the supply of used electric vehicles in Australia. They believe that once fleets account for around 20% of all car sales and government rebates are extended to second-hand cars, the market for used electric vehicles will see significant growth.
Second-hand electric vehicle market off to a sluggish start

Electric vehicles (EVs) have been touted as the future of transportation, offering a sustainable and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. With their increasing popularity, the second-hand electric vehicle market was expected to flourish. However, it has experienced a rather sluggish start, raising concerns about the viability of the market.

One of the primary reasons for the slow growth of the second-hand electric vehicle market can be attributed to the availability of government incentives for purchasing new EVs. Governments around the world have implemented numerous subsidies and tax breaks to encourage individuals to invest in new, zero-emission vehicles. This has led to a strong demand for brand new EVs, leaving little room for the flourishing of the second-hand market.

Additionally, the relatively high initial cost of electric vehicles has deterred potential buyers from entering the second-hand market. EVs are still considerably more expensive than conventional petrol or diesel-powered vehicles, making them less affordable to the average consumer. Therefore, individuals looking for a more cost-effective transportation solution may opt for a used internal combustion engine car instead.

Another factor hampering the growth of the second-hand electric vehicle market is the concern surrounding battery degradation. Batteries are a crucial component of EVs and their lifespan greatly affects the vehicle’s performance and range. Potential buyers may be hesitant to invest in a used EV, as there is limited transparency regarding the battery’s condition and longevity. Consequently, they may opt for a new EV where they can be assured of the battery’s quality.

Additionally, the lack of established infrastructure to support second-hand EVs has also impeded the growth of the market. Unlike petrol stations, electric charging stations are still relatively scarce, making it difficult for owners of used EVs to find convenient and accessible locations to charge their vehicles. This may discourage potential buyers from considering a second-hand EV as their primary mode of transportation.

However, despite these challenges, there is still hope for the second-hand electric vehicle market to pick up momentum. As technology continues to advance, the cost of producing EVs is expected to decrease, making them more accessible to a wider range of consumers. Additionally, improvements in battery technology will address concerns related to battery degradation and lifespan, further boosting the confidence of potential buyers.

Moreover, as governments worldwide continue to invest in expanding charging infrastructure, the convenience and accessibility of charging stations will improve. This will attract more individuals to consider second-hand electric vehicles as a viable transportation option, contributing to the growth of the market.

In conclusion, while the second-hand electric vehicle market may currently be experiencing a sluggish start, there are several factors hindering its growth. However, with the continuous advancements in technology, improvements in battery life and decreasing production costs, as well as the expansion of charging infrastructure, the market is expected to gain momentum in the future. As consumers become more eco-conscious and seek sustainable transportation options, the second-hand electric vehicle market has the potential to become a significant player in the automotive industry.