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Second-hand EVs are selling fast in the UK right now — and that’s a good thing

Second-hand EVs will help us reach climate goals

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In the shift to low emission vehicles, much of the world’s attention is paid toward new electrified vehicles. However, in the overall pursuit of lowering emissions in the transport sector, it’s important that used car buyers opt for electric over gasoline.

According to used car website, BuyaCar.co.uk, second-hand buyers are now starting to make the jump to EVs — and in a big way.

So far in December, BuyaCar claims that sales of EVs have made up 15% of the second-hand car market. For a majority of this year, just one in 100 used car sales was of an electric vehicle, it added.

“On every measure of activity on BuyaCar.co.uk, EVs are really gathering pace in the used market,” said BuyaCar’s editor Christofer Lloyd.

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While it’s hard to know exactly what led to this 15-fold increase, analysts suggest that the UK‘s ban on the sale of new gasoline vehicles has something to do with it.

Many car buyers are turned off the idea of electric cars when they see the upfront costs of a new vehicle. Typically, EVs cost more to buy than gasoline counterparts.

However, the price differences between gasoline and electric in the second-hand market are less pronounced. Adding to the fact they’re cheaper to run, this makes them a more realistic option for many motorists.

BuyaCar suggests the key to mass adoption may lie in the used car market. Although, used car availability hinges entirely on new cars coming into the market and trickling down to second-hand buyers, so realistically it will be about balance.

The most important take away here is that used car buyers are open and keen to keep up with technological developments, and negative sentiments towards owning a second-hand EV appear to be abating.

As manufacturers began launching mainstream EVs around 10 years ago, many believed the batteries would wear out and reduce the vehicle’s range.

Naturally, this isn’t good for second-hand EVs, but as time has passed, those concerns proved to be overblown. As consumer reviews magazine Which? found, the batteries in six-year old EVs degraded by up to 8%.

In reality, when buying an EV, drivers really don’t have to worry about battery degradation, which makes them a great prospect for second-hand buyers.

What’s more, it’s great that second-hand EVs aren’t going to waste, and are being chosen over CO2 emitting gasoline cars. It will surely help the UK reach its climate and emissions goals.


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Published December 14, 2020 — 11:52 UTC