Some vehicles depreciate 70 percent in only five years
When it comes to losing value, electric and hybrid car owners face some shocking rates of depreciation, according to a new study from iSeeCars.com.
On average, someone looking to sell a car purchased five years ago can expect to recover only half the initial purchase price. But for electric and hybrid cars, the average depreciation is closer to 60 percent, with some models shedding 70 percent or more.
The allelectric Nissan Leaf suffered a 71.7 percent decline in value over five years, including a 70.3 percent decline in Denver, making it the worst model when it comes to deprecia tion, according to the study.
Joining it on the biggest losers list were two hybrids: the Chevy Volt, down 71.2 percent, and the Ford Fusion Energi, down 69.4 percent. They ranked second and fifth for depreciation.
Typically, cars that break down a lot and have high repair costs don’t fare well in the resale market. Electric cars, however, have much lower fuel costs and fewer parts to break down than vehicles with internal combustion engines.
Their much lower operating costs should boost their resale value, but several things work against that, said Julie Blackley, a spokeswoman for iSeeCars.com.
Electric and plugin hybrids come with government incentives on the front end. Those aren’t available to used car buyers.
Range anxiety and a lack of infrastructure also have prevented the public from fully embracing electric vehicles, which lowers their popularity in the resale market. There are simply fewer used car buyers interested in them.
But the biggest knock could come down to tech nology. Electric cars produced in 2013 have a shorter range and fewer features than newer models.
A 5yearold Leaf can go 60 to 80 miles or so on a charge, depending on the condition of the battery. But the 2018 and 2019 models advertise 151 miles, and a battery upgrade coming soon promises to boost that to 220 miles.