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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Electric Vehicles are Depreciating Faster than Gas Counterparts



The latest crop of electric vehicles offer incredible efficiency and performance for today’s car buyers. However, new data suggests the price premium of buying an EV may be one cost you’ll have to swallow when it comes time to trade-in or sell that electric vehicle. 
According to Black Book, which analyzed the suggested retail price and current used market values of four 2012 electric vehicles and their gas-powered siblings, the gas-powered vehicles tended to hold much more of their value after three years.

For instance, a Ford Focus Electric hatchback would have retailed new for $40,387 in 2012 ($32,887 after federal incentives), and its Focus SE cousin for $20,500. But in July 2015, Black Book values the used Focus Electric at $10,250 while the gas-powered Focus holds $9,100. That means with incentives included, the Focus Electric retains 31 percent of its value to the Focus SE’s 44 percent.
The full chart can be seen, below.


The Chevrolet Volt shows a similar depreciation curve against the gas-powered Chevrolet Cruze. Interestingly, the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-Miev electric vehicles are actually valued beneath the cheaper gas-powered Nissan Versa and Mitsubishi Lancer, respectively.

“On several of today’s popular EV vehicles, the depreciation curve is very steep, largely driven by lack of consumer demand preferences for fuel-efficient models with the current price of gas,” said Anil Goyal, Vice President of Automotive Valuation and Analytics for Black Book.

In general, the depreciation curve for higher priced vehicles is steeper than that of lower priced entry-level models, but even so, these sharp drops in small EV values would appear unusually large. That being said, once gas prices rise, so too will the value of used electric vehicles—perhaps dramatically.