Secondary Market Needed for Electrical Vehicles to Displace ICE

Focus on electric vehicles remains on new sales. Analysts, public policy makers, and auto executives make claims when the United States will move away from petrol vehicles to electric vehicles. Some industry watchers note the infrastructure issue; namely, a lack of charging stations. If electrical vehicles will replace internal combustion engine vehicles, then a credible used market will need to exist. At this point, that looks unrealistic.

The used auto market has received little attention. The consumers who shop there for primary transportation seem to be ignored in this discussion of electrifying personal vehicles. The current supply along with attending price points support this argument.

I chose only the Chevrolet Bolt, Chevrolet Spark, and Chevrolet Cruze because I wanted passenger vehicles aimed at the mass market. Note, Chevrolet has discontinued the Spark and Cruze. Parts though will remain available at least for 10 years past the point of discontinuation.

Bolt Carmax 26 $22,998 $26,998
Bolt Carvana 9 $16,590 $28,900
Bolt AutoTrader 221 $16,888 $34,458
Cruze Carmax 240 $9,998 $20,998
Cruze Carvana 274 $12,990 $21,590
Cruze AutoTrader 5,753 $2,600 $25,989
Spark Carmax 60 $9,998 $17,998
Spark Carvana 88 $12,990 $19,990
Spark AutoTrader 772 $2,395 $21,000
Note: supplies and prices as of June 28, 2021

As shown in the above table, the Bolt costs more than a comparable Spark or Cruze. This market segment will likely give price a higher weight when making a decision. At these prices, a household in this market segment could buy two Sparks for one Bolt.

Autotrader does list dealer lots, used lots, and private sellers. One private seller is offering a Bolt compared to six for a Spark and 34 looking to unload a Cruze.

Chevrolet sold roughly 900,000 Cruzes during the 10 years it was available in the United States market. It competed against the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. Both vehicles remain better quality and are more expensive compared to the Cruze.

Without a viable used market exists for electric vehicles, then a segment of American consumers will be left stranded, unable to afford a new electrical vehicle while the supply of used petrol vehicles dwindles.

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