Anyone who has ever bought a new car knows that the second you drive it off of the lot, it has lost thousands of dollars in value. That is why automakers often tout the high resale value of their cars, hoping to convince some buyers that they’ll see a decent return on their investment down the road. But a new study shows that buyers of EVs and plug-in hybrids may have to settle for a little less than they hoped for.
Two price-tracking sites, Kelley Blue Book and ALG, peg the resale value of the 2012 Nissan Leaf at about 20% of its MSRP after five years. This means that the $36,000 EV will be worth approximately $7,200 after five years on the road. For some reason, the Nissan Sentra was used as a benchmark, even though the Leaf is actually based on the smaller (and cheaper!) Nissan Versa. KBB and ALG peg the resale value of a Sentra at about 30% of its MSRP after 5 years.
Then there is the Chevy Volt, which costs a bit more ($39,995) but also has a much better resale value. KBB and ALG state that after 5 years, the Chevy Volt will be worth about 30% of its original MSRP, compared to the Chevy Cruze compact (which the Volt IS based off of) which will be worth around 38% of its value after five years.
Of course it isn’t all bad news. If you take into account the $7,500 federal tax rebate available to both the Leaf and the Volt, all of the sudden things like pretty peachy for early adopters and used car fans alike. If those resale values hold true, it means you could buy a Nissan Leaf for under $8,000, and a Chevy Volt for around $13,000 in just a few years time. Not too shabby!
Source: Detroit Free Press