Creating a Used Electric Vehicle Marketplace

About EVsnap Apr 07, 2020

In December of 2019 I started created what would become EVsnap. For about a year prior, I had been looking for a used electric car within my budget and in my area. Of course I tried Craigslist, Autotrader, etc. but none of these existing platforms really aligned with my search.

I had no interest in buying an internal combustion engine (ICE) car and I found those sites' overall experiences were tailored toward helping people find ICE cars. This makes sense for those companies since the vast majority of vehicles on the road are still ICE. 98.1% of new cars sold in the US are ICE vehicles as of 2019.

So I decided to embark on a 4 month journey to create EVsnap, a used electric vehicle marketplace. On March 27th, 2020 I launched the MVP with 4 mock listings.

Why I Created EVsnap

Even though the market for EVs is currently very small in the US, it's hard for me to see a future where most cars sold in the US aren't electric. In 2019, 55.9% of the new cars sold in Norway were electric. With numbers like that, Norway has also been pushing for massive developments in charging infrastructure to support EVs on their roads. And with more access to public charging comes more adoption of EVs.

I believe the adoption of EV's will grow in the US, and that the acceleration of adoption will increase in the next few years too. To help with this, I've created EVsnap. EVsnap is a platform specifically for used electric cars. The figures for used electric cars for sale in the US are hard to come by,  I won't try to estimate but I can assure you this number is tiny currently. Still, as electric vehicle adoption increases in the US, so will the number of used EVs people are looking to sell, and so will the number of people looking to buy used EVs.

The used car market is where most of the cars in the US end up, so this will eventually be the case for EVs too. My goal for EVsnap is to create the platform for listing and finding used EVs in the US.

Challenges Ahead

Creating a marketplace is hard. Like really really hard. For a market to exist there needs to be buyers and sellers. How do you attract buyers? Have sellers. How do you attract sellers? Have buyers. This chicken-or-the-egg dilemma has plagued marketplace creators since the dawn of time, and being on the internet only complicates things more. Big companies you know of today ran into this same issue. To try and fix this issue, Airbnb violated Craigslist's terms of use by sending mass emails to existing rental listings posing as fans of Airbnb.

After doing lots of reading about creating online marketplaces one main truth has become very evident to me. It is an extremely organic process. You can't force a marketplace into existence, and if you do it will be temporary. The reason Airbnb took off after their "growth hack" came down to the fact that they had created a great platform and they were filling a need.

We want EVsnap to be the platform that helps people find their dream EV at a price that works for them. We want to give people resources so they can feel more educated when making decisions about buying an electric vehicle. We want to build a community of people who are interested in the future of transportation, and the part electric vehicles play in that future.

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