Nearly 80 percent of electric vehicles are leased, not owned, study says Tweet email


The study, conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that almost 80 percent of fully-electric vehicles and 55 percent of plug-in hybrids are leased rather than owned. For comparison, 30 percent of cars as a whole are leased in the U.S.
Despite enticing federal and state tax incentives that knock as much as $9,000 off the list price of EVs, electric owners, staggering levels of depreciation mean there’s little incentive to hold onto cars that become obsolete in three years.
While electric vehicles make up a miniscule portion of the automotive population (1 percent globally and even less in the U.S.), there’s an even smaller portion of those EVs being purchased, according to a recent Bloomberg study.
So with EVs essentially sharing the same lifespan as iPhones, the next five years could see an exponential uptick in off-lease EVs piling up in dealership lots. Heavy depreciation combined with battery technology constantly evolving could see used electrics available for a near bargain.
An iSeeCars study found that electric and plug-in hybrid cars make up the fastest-selling cars on the used market. The study, which looked at 2.1 million one- to three-year-old used vehicles sold from January to August of 2017, found that the average car takes 33.4 days to sell. EVs and plug-ins, however, only take 70 to 80 percent of that time, averaging between 22.2 and 26.1 days.
Last August, AAA released the “Your Driving Costs” study, detailing the cheapest types of cars to own, and found that while EVs had the lowest fuel and maintenance costs, they suffered from the highest levels of depreciation.
With fewer mechanical components that can break down and using less price-volatile gasoline, the cost of ownership of EVs and plug-ins is significantly less than their solely internal combustion-powered counterparts.
Car buyers’ propensity for leasing will only accelerate as more and more owners shy away from being locked into long-term payments for cars that will end up outdated by the time they’re paid off. In recent months, Automakers have pivoted towards the trends of the market, offering up “subscription”-style lease terms for vehicles to entice those who’d rather have the newest car without the hassle of car ownership.

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