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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, 2011 is over and 2012 approaches. Volts have been on the road for 13 months or so and people may be awaiting the secondary market before they jump. If you're a Volt enthusiast but not an owner, what are you looking for in a used Volt in say late 2012, or when the 2011's start coming off their 3-year lease in late 2013?

What is a fair price for a 2 year and 3 year old Volt? Would it be $25K and $22K for 2 and 3 year olds?

What's your idea of a good used Volt market in the year to come? Anyone here lurking who has not yet bought want to weigh in on their opinion?

Given the price of a battery replacement has been reported to be under $3K for the unit (plus shipping and labor) - this seems like a breath of fresh air for those worried about battery longevity after the first 100K miles. It makes a used Volt with 50K miles almost easy to justify.
 

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There isn't enough of a market yet for the market to decide. However:

http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtes...in-appraisal-and-a-surprise-feature.html#more

For a one year old Volt, they're apparently thinking $32k ish. If that's fair, then your 2 and 3 year guesses are low. I'm actually surprised that the offer was that high, since the $7500 tax credit presumably comes off the top (as in, why would you buy used for more than $7500 below the new price...)
 

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I posted about a 2011 demo with less than 500 miles that sold for $7000 off MSRP on eBay and was still eligible for the $7500 rebate because it was never registered.

A demo with 400+ miles is not as good as a new car with 10 miles, but it is a lot better than a 1-year old used car with 10,000 miles.

If you use that sale as a valid data point, it's not looking good for the resale value of Volts right now.
 

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Sense used Volts for sale are rare, some one wanting to get one to costumize, or just wanting to use the Voltec system in another car build, that they could then sell for over $100,000. The parts that they did not use would still have a siginificent resale value.

Look at the fact that an Insurence company totaled a Volt that was only side swiped with only about $10,000 worth of damage, the parts are that valuable. (dont know how the tax credit was concidered).
 

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OK, here we go...

here's how I would calculate the value (pessimistically, I know...)

Let's assume the current base price of $ 42,500... and that 2011 Volts have already been offered for like $ 4000 below that by dealers, we arrive at $ 38,500. Subtract from that the $ 7500 tax rebate which you won't be eligible for if you buy used, and you're at $ 31,000.

Subtract from that depreciation... I'll divide this into the battery and the rest of the car. Contrary to what you say, I'd put the actual value of a new battery at $ 9,000, not $ 3,000, since I suppose the part price of $ 3,000 is for only one of the three modules used in the Volt, and you need three of them in order to form a whole battery.

Since the battery is guaranteed for 8 years or 100,000 miles, I would deduct 1/8 of the battery price for each year, unless the mileage is above 12,500 per year, in which case I would deduct 9 cents for each mile.

The rest of the car is then $ 22,000. I'd assume a depreciation of 1/12 per year for that, since typically service costs rise with each year, so even if the average car lasts longer than 12 years, the lower depreciation late in its life has to make up for increased service costs, so that the depreciation has to be higher in the first years. This would mean a depreciation of $ 1,833 per year... at least, maybe even more because a new car is typically worth more to people than an old one.

So, the value of a 2 year old Volt with 25,000 miles on it would be $ 31,000 - $ 3,667 - $ 2,250 = $ 25,083.
The value of a 3 year old Volt with 37,500 miles on it would be $ 31,000 - $ 5,500 - $ 3,375 = $ 22,125.
And I consider these to be rather optimistic values.
 

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The 36 month residual will be low enough that U.S. Bank is getting screwed on my lease. And that's exactly why I leased. Fear of very low 36 month values. I'm guessing at 36 months my 45K Volt is worth just over 50% of the $37,500 after tax credit price. So perhaps $19,000. Imagine what a hit these first gens will take if newer Volts have 6.6kwh chargers, and 50 mile average range instead of 35, and cost even 40k without a tax credit instead of 37.5k after a tax credit.
 

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I'll divide this into the battery and the rest of the car. Contrary to what you say, I'd put the actual value of a new battery at $ 9,000, not $ 3,000, since I suppose the part price of $ 3,000 is for only one of the three modules used in the Volt, and you need three of them in order to form a whole battery.
Where did you get this from? All of the parts websites I've seen show only one high voltage battery part number, and show it as being the complete assembly in the T-shape, and with a GM list price of $2994. (GM is likely subsidizing this, but that's irrelevant from a user/cost perspective.)
 

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The Volt and all EVs for that matter will have much higher resale value than an ICE vehicle. It's all about operating costs. As a car ages the cost per mile to run it becomes increasingly important. If you can save $1500/year by running on electricity than on gas, then if you expect to keep the car for four years that's a savings of $6000. Conservatively you can take the price of an ICE and add $3000 or $4000 to it.

The Volt should also be relatively more attractive as it ages because it should retain more of its performance. Motors are (thankfully) not like engines. As engines age their efficiency and performance degrades. Not so for motors. At ten years you'll get the same performance from a motor as you got when it was new. In ten years you should have no trouble beating a ten year old BMW off the line.
 

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I'd likely bite for a used Volt at $23-25K. But given there are probably 2 (sarcasm) used Volts in America right now, I suspect the chaper way to go would be to purchase new. I'll get there, but I want the battery issue addressed and I know I'll hold off if upgrades are displayed in Detroit in January. There are good reasons to not be early adopters, especially since the $7,500 credit will be available for some time (likely).
 

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The Volt should also be relatively more attractive as it ages because it should retain more of its performance. Motors are (thankfully) not like engines. As engines age their efficiency and performance degrades. Not so for motors. At ten years you'll get the same performance from a motor as you got when it was new. In ten years you should have no trouble beating a ten year old BMW off the line.
C'mon Don! I see what you're saying, but I'll let you pick which model of 2002 BMW you'd care to put in a drag race against a 2012 Volt. I have no complaints with my Volt's performance, as it's absolutely as quick (quicker?) than how most people actually drive. But even a base model 2002 3 Series BMW with 120,000 miles will still toast our Volts if someone were so inclined.
 

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Where did you get this from? All of the parts websites I've seen show only one high voltage battery part number, and show it as being the complete assembly in the T-shape, and with a GM list price of $2994. (GM is likely subsidizing this, but that's irrelevant from a user/cost perspective.)
Well... I tried to put one and one together. I figured that if a price for LiIon batteries is given of $600/kWh, and there's 16 kWh in the battery, the price should be $9,600. Now you can assume that GM gets a significant discount for buying multiple thousands of those batteries (or millions of cells, if you wish), but even if they do, I suppose the price for the customer should still be at least that value, since as far as I know, battery packs for smaller vehicles or other appliances typically cost more than the cells contained in them alone would cost. At least packs which actually consist of wrapped standard cells behave that way. There may be some exceptions to that (for instance, NiMh battery packs for RC cars), but no way would the cost of a battery pack only be less than a third of the "normal" price. The exception would be that GM really subsidizes them as you say, or sell them at their cost including all rebates, not including fixed costs etc. If they do that, the price could really be that low. But then I suppose the price is very close to what it actually costs to produce the batteries, not including R&D and such. From my point of view, normally not likely to happen if an item is as scarce as Volt parts still are. If the price for one module out of three were $2994, it would be believable from my point of view given what the battery should actually cost. That's how I estimated that number.
 

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So you're putting you estimate of what it "should" cost based on other industry items that are not terribly similar up against documented data from GM and from dealers that replaced battery packs reported here on the forum, ignoring the likelyhood that GM can recycle the packs that it pulls off of cars, or that they might subsidize the battery cost to alleviate fears, and choosing to believe your estimate? Interesting logic. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Here's an idea for GM/Chevy dealers. Say we are looking at a 3-year, 30K mile Volt traded in.

When a Volt is off-leased... Yank the battery. It'll be 2015.
Replacement pack is $3K.
Put in the brand-new pack, send the old pack, uh, packing (for Grid storage).
Give the new pack a 100K/10year warranty even on the used vehicle.
Sell the used Volt for $23-29K (based on miles + options) and keep the captured value of the old pack routed through the recycling program nearly "good as new".

Alternatively for off-lease in 2015:

Yank the original pack for research or Grid storage.
Sell used Volts for $18-21K and lease the new pack through GE. That may be one way to offload the pack's value to an outside firm and get more people in electrics.
 

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Well, I would have said they are similar... but of course LiIon battery packs for e-bikes are by magnitudes smaller than those for full-size cars. And lead-acid batteries for children's vehicles are probably not remotely comparable. :)

So... let's assume that $3000 is the correct price for the whole battery pack. In this case, the depreciation would be a bit lower... 3 cents per mile travelled or $ 375 per year for the battery, but (since the remainder of the car is more expensive then) $ 2,333 per year for the remaining vehicle.

In this case a 2-year old Volt would be worth: $ 31000 - $ 5416 = $ 25584
and a 3-year old Volt... $ 31000 - $ 8125 = $ 22875

Which is not that much more, actually... only a few hundred bucks.

So you're putting you estimate of what it "should" cost based on other industry items that are not terribly similar up against documented data from GM and from dealers that replaced battery packs reported here on the forum, ignoring the likelyhood that GM can recycle the packs that it pulls off of cars, or that they might subsidize the battery cost to alleviate fears, and choosing to believe your estimate? Interesting logic. :)
 

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C'mon Don! I see what you're saying, but I'll let you pick which model of 2002 BMW you'd care to put in a drag race against a 2012 Volt. I have no complaints with my Volt's performance, as it's absolutely as quick (quicker?) than how most people actually drive. But even a base model 2002 3 Series BMW with 120,000 miles will still toast our Volts if someone were so inclined.
A drag race? On a drag strip? I don't actually do that. I do more normal things. For example, every day coming home I hit a light at the bottom of a hill where I turn left. I pray for those days when some aggressive BMW shows up in the lane next to me. It's not that close. Yeah, maybe on a flat with a rolling start you'd lose off the line, or if you could go further than the next stop light or the speed limit, but in regular real life driving, not happening. I had a friend who tried to keep up with me in her 5 series. I was around the corner and up the hill 30 or 40 yards before she even made it around the corner. In a similar vein, my wife says that her favorite moments driving the Volt where when a BMW, behind her at the metering light to the freeway and clearly planning to zoom into the other lane to pass her, disappeared as a small object in her rear view mirror.
 

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A drag race? On a drag strip? I don't actually do that.
Funny. I do do that. On a semi-pro level. Didn't realize that was "abnormal." I love stories of people "racing" on the street. The only reason you've ever beaten any BMW anywhere is it wasn't trying. The internet is full of ridiculous "kill" stories where a slow vehicle supposedly crushed a quicker vehicle on the street. Having been to the dragstrip - in my Volt - I can tell you exactly how long it takes you to go the first 60'. That's where the first time clock is. You are WAY slower than any BMW made in the last decade. But like I said, the Volt certainly can accelerate more quickly than most people drive. You're simply proving that point. You can mash it to the floor and go quicker than a normal BMW driver accelerates. But if the BMW wanted to accept (or even knew of your challenge), you'd be toast.

Numbers don't lie. And I have real world, track-timed numbers.
 

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Local dealer has a used 2011 for sale with 7k miles. They are asking $37999. When I tried negotiating it down, they would not go lower than $36.5k. So I bought a new one instead. So the assumption that they go down by the amount of the tax rebate doesn't seem correct. BTW, they told me they had two used and already sold one at that price. Remember, most people don't actually qualify for the full tax rebate.

Rick
 
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