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Used EVs Are a Hot New Market for Car Buyers

And sales of new EVs could top 1 million cars for the first time in 2023, estimates Cox Automotive.

Nina Raemont Writer
A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Nina started at CNET writing breaking news stories before shifting to covering Security Security and other government benefit programs. In her spare time, she's in her kitchen, trying a new baking recipe.
Nina Raemont
2 min read
A person plugs in an electric vehicle with solar panels in the background.
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As more people make the switch to electric vehicles, the market for used EVs is beginning to see rapid growth.

Sales of used electric vehicles through licensed dealerships were up 32% in the first three months of the year, to nearly 43,000, according to data from industry analyst Cox Automotive. The average listing price for a used EV was around $43,400, down 4% from prices at the start of 2022 and well below the average price of a new electric vehicle, according to Cox. 

"Every new vehicle eventually becomes a used vehicle," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of Cox Automotive, in a release. "Our data sets indicate used EV sales will begin increasing rapidly from here, following a clear path set by new sales."

The EV market in the US is growing quickly, with Cox predicting new sales will top 1 million cars for the first time in 2023. The uptick is fueled in part by Biden administration efforts, including tax credits for new and used EVs that were laid out in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

For used cars purchased in 2023, people can claim a tax credit of up to $4,000 on qualifying plug-in electric or fuel-cell EVs. There are a handful of restrictions though, including that the car must be at least 2 years old and the credit can be claimed only once in a vehicle's lifetime. CNET's Dan Avery explains how to claim the tax credit on used and new EVs.

On Wednesday, the US Environmental Protection Agency proposed strict new emissions standards that could significantly increase sales of electric vehicles in the US over the coming years, reaching an estimated 67% of new car sales by 2032. This would be a massive increase over current EV sales, which Cox said are expected to reach almost 7% of all new car sales in the first quarter of this year, a "record high."