EV prices drop up to 20% as new and used inventory surges

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Among the many things upended by the pandemic was the traditional American car-buying experience. Factories were idled to safeguard public health, then supply chains broke down, and the chip shortage took hold. Dealer inventories dried up, and hefty markups became the norm, causing new car prices to skyrocket. Those days are over, with inventory growing and both new and used prices dropping, particularly for electric vehicles, according to a new study from the digital marketplace cars.com.

Although automakers like Ford and General Motors have scaled back their EV ambitions, with a chorus of complaining car dealers in the background, it looks like increasing numbers of US car buyers are considering going electric.

Searches for new EVs on cars.com were up 14.9 percent year over year (14.7 percent month over month). And there are many more cars for buyers to pick from, with 107.7 percent more inventory than in March 2023 (or 8.8 percent more than this February). Those EVs are hanging around on lots longer than dealers might like, with an average of 91 days of inventory—the industry prefers to keep less than 60 days of inventory on hand and averaged 65 days for March 2024.

That has put some downward pressure on new EV prices—according to cars.com’s data, prices have decreased by 4.3 percent year-on-year to an average selling price of $63,806.

Since its data is gathered from the new and used car dealers that list their stock online, cars.com’s data doesn’t include new Tesla sales, which goes some way to explaining why it has found that the Subaru Solterra was the fastest-selling new EV in March, followed by the Cadillac Lyriq, BMW i4, Audi e-tron GT, and Hyundai Kona EV.

But Ford’s F-150 Lightning topped the search charts for cars.com users, followed by the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV9, the Lyriq, and GM’s answer to the Cybertruck, the GMC Hummer EV.

Searches for used EVs grew even more—37.6 percent year over year (14.5 percent month over month). The supply of used EVs is better now, too, although at 49 percent growth year over year, it’s not quite as impressive as the growth in new EV inventory. (Used inventory grew 16.5 percent month over month.)

Those used EVs are selling more quickly, with inventory dropping 2.4 percent year over year to just 62 days of supply on average. And prices of used EVs have dropped by up to 20.5 percent compared to last year, with an average used EV purchase price of $36,429.

The Chevrolet Bolt EUV tops the used sales chart for March, boosted no doubt by the car rental agency Hertz selling off a lot of its EV fleet. Rivians moved quickly, as did the Kia EV6 and Tesla Model Y.

Teslas dominated used EV searches, with customers trying to find Models 3, S, Y, and X. The Porsche Taycan was the only non-Tesla EV to crack the top five.

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