The electric vehicle market within China seems to love a used Tesla as much as they love brand new ones.
Five years after the market for new electric vehicles took off in China, a fledgling used-car market is forming around the close to 3.5 million EV cars already sold, and Tesla looks set to rule it.
A Tesla’s residual value—basically the future value of a car after a certain amount of use—at one year is more than 70% of its original price, far higher than the value of any Chinese EV model at the same mark, according to an August report from a Chinese automobile industry group studying leasing and resales.
“Except for a Tesla, we won’t take any other pure battery car,” a Beijing-based second-hand dealer told auto blog gasgoo in August.
That’s a worrying sign for China, where government subsidies have created a slew of domestic EV giants, some of which are now looking to go overseas amid a slowing car market. The Chinese EV with the highest value at one year was a sports utility vehicle from Roewe, a subsidiary under state-run SAIC Motor, while for many popular brands it’s under 35%.
While the second-hand EV market is just starting in China, like in the US and Australia, it’s an important step for electric vehicles—signaling growing buyer confidence in their reliability. Prices for used cars can affect the first-hand market, since people are more likely to buy cars that hold on to their value. Due to the lack of transaction volume, it’s hard to track used EV sales, but the numbers are likely small and hybrids are probably preferred. On Youxin, one of the biggest second-hand car websites in China, there are no pure-electric EVs offered at the moment, while a search on online used car site Guazi found 81 EVs out of thousands of cars.
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