The relative importance of electric vehicles is growing fast also on the second-hand market, with ICE vehicles taking the back seat, a used cars expert said.
"All internal combustion engine cars are taking a back seat. Their development isn't prioritized anymore because we've plotted a course for banning their sale from 2035 (new cars – ed.). Electricity is taking over, with all manufacturers churning out new and exciting models. We can see interest and the relative importance of EVs growing also among second-hand cars, even though it's still marginal today. But it will happen sooner than we think," Silver Havamaa, manager of used cars importer Moneklar OÜ, said on the "Terevisioon" morning show on Monday.
Havamaa said that while dealers used to import second-hand EVs only when a customer ordered one, they are now stocking up on used EVs. "It comes as a sign of demand and businesses' confidence," he said.
Asked whether people prefer to buy an electrified version of a normal car or a bespoke EV, Havamaa said it is the latter. "Depends on what the customer prioritizes, whether it's appearance, mileage, equipment, price – these vehicles can sport very different prices."
There is also no single answer to the question of whether EVs with greater or more modest range are imported, Havamaa suggested. "Just like the original buyers in Europe have had different needs, so it is in Estonia – based on individual needs," he said.
The vehicle dealer said that there is already an aftermarket of imported EVs in Estonia. Some people also utilize old electric vehicle batteries as domestic energy storage solutions.
"Modern car batteries can reverse the current – basically, you can charge your EV in the city, take it to your summer cottage, hook it up and spend an entire weekend or more (calculations suggest an EV battery can actually cover seven to ten days of domestic consumption) using electricity from the battery," he said.
Havamaa also said that sharp electricity price hikes have not impacted the popularity of electric vehicles. "It has a momentary effect, while this was psychological more than anything. Even at its most expensive, electricity was still cheaper than relying on gasoline or diesel," Havamaa said.
Asked about hybrid cars, Havamaa said the market is there for them, even though it sports a downward trend, at least in the used cars world.
"People who have experienced the benefits of an electric vehicle tend to stick with them," the dealer said.
Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski