Since idea of electric cars was introduced they have faced many obstacles, which have lead them to the increasing sales they have today. One of the challenges of increasing sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has been their lack of affordability for the majority of car buyers. However, the new generation of PEVs is becoming more economical, and the increasing inventory of used PEVs for sale is opening the technology to a broader spectrum of car buyers.

PEVs originally sold in 2012 are coming to the used market after their leases have completed or their owners have upgraded to newer electric models with longer driving ranges. Used PEVs, which generally have reduced maintenance costs due to fewer mechanical parts to wear out while relying on a much cheaper fuel source, can be an affordable first or replacement car for cost-conscious buyers who closely monitor their monthly expenses.

For example, many used 2012 model year Nissan LEAF ($10,000-$12,000), Mitsubishi I-MiEV ($8,500-$10,000), and Chevrolet Volt ($15,000-$18,000) cars can be found on Carmax.com that fit within a much greater percentage of budgets than a new PEV. While only in Colorado can used PEV buyers get a state tax credit, pre-owned PEVs are around half the cost of a new model—even after all incentives are factored in.

Results from Navigant Research’s 2015 survey of American consumers found that 77 % expect to spend $30,000 or less for their next car. This expectation excludes them for considering nearly all of the PEVs on the market—even after factory, dealer, or government incentives are included.

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