The Nissan Leaf Crushed the Tesla Model S as the Most Popular Used Electric Car

Have you ever found yourself wondering what the most popular used electric car is? If you have, you’ll be pleased to know that iSeeCars analyzed used electronic vehicle (EV) sales from 2019 to 2020 to answer that very question. And what the organization found is that the Tesla Model S is the most popular used EV in only seven of the states with the highest number of EV sales. The Nissan LEAF, on the other hand, is the most popular used electric car in the remaining 18 states. Pretty impressive, right? We thought so too.

A graphic representation of the Most Popular Used EV in the 25 States
Most Popular Used EV in the 25 States | iSeeCars

Out of the 25 states with the highest share of used EV sales, the Nissan LEAF is the most popular used EV in 18 states, reports iSeeCars. To determine this, the organization analyzed more than 54,000 used EV sales from 2019 to 2020. The numbers are pretty interesting too.

As Karl Brauer, an Executive Analyst at iSeeCars, explains it, “Despite Tesla’s growth in the EV market, the Nissan LEAF is more popular among used electric vehicle buyers, comprising 27.7 percent of sales, while the Tesla Model S accounts for 17.8 percent.” 

“This is likely due to the LEAF’s affordability with a used car price of $13,054 compared to a used Tesla Model S at $48,996, as well as its brand recognition as the first mass-market EV that’s been on the market for a decade,” Brauer added.

Brauer isn’t wrong about the affordability of the Nissan LEAF either. At 61.3%, Hawaii has the highest share of used Nissan LEAFs. It’s also the third-highest state for used electric car sales overall. Their popularity can be attributed to the state offering up to $10,000 in rebates on new Nissan LEAFs, which in turn makes them a popular option among used car shoppers. Gas isn’t cheap in Hawaii either, giving car shoppers even more reasons to choose a used electric car over a gasoline-powered one, iSeeCars reports.

A silver Nissan LEAF parked in a garage, the Nissan LEAF is one of the most popular used electric cars
Nissan LEAF | Nissan

There are a few reasons why the Nissan LEAF is such a popular choice among used electric car shoppers. But first, let’s talk about how affordable it is. As Brauer explained, a used Nissan LEAF costs approximately $13,054. A used Tesla Model S, on the other hand, costs roughly $48,996. That’s a pretty huge difference in price.

But the Nissan LEAF isn’t just an affordable used car to buy. It’s also a pretty cheap car to own. As a matter of fact, the Nissan LEAF is a four-time award winner of Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Award for the Best Electric Vehicle. “The Leaf is also reliable, and maintenance costs are low because there aren’t many components that need replacing regularly,” Kelley Blue Book added. 

This used electric car can also go pretty far on a single charge. Take, for example, the 2019 Nissan LEAF. When equipped with a 40 kW-hr battery pack, it can go up to 150 miles on a single charge. Opt for the 62 kW-hr battery pack instead, and it can drive a maximum of 226 miles. According to the EPA, that equals $5,750 of savings in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle.

Does the Nissan LEAF deserve a spot in your driveway?

Sure, the Nissan LEAF is one of the most popular used electric cars. But does that mean it deserves a spot in your driveway? Not necessarily. While it is affordable and certainly beat out the Tesla Model S as the most popular used EV, it’s not the right electric car for everyone. That’s why, before buying a used Nissan LEAF for yourself, we recommend doing some additional research and, at the very least, getting behind the wheel for a test drive. 

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