First published on EVObsession
When electric vehicles first hit the market, there were not totally-unfounded fears that EVs would depreciate in value quicker than combustion vehicles, leading to lower “residual” values. Here in the U.S., the jury is still out on whether or not electric vehicles hold their value, but new research from Europe suggests that EVs a higher residual value on par with diesels.
BusinessGreen reports that the UK’s version of Kelly Blue Book, called Glass’s Pricing Guide, has put out a report suggestion that the residual value of many EVs and plug-in hybrids are within a few percentage points of popular diesel cars. For example, the Vauxhall Ampera (also known as the Chevy Volt) is still worth about 28% of its original MSRP after 3 years or 60,000 miles, while an equivalent diesel vehicle, the Insignia SRI CDTi, is worth about 35% over the same period. Similarly, Glass’s cites the BMW i3 remains worth about 39% of its original value, compared to the BMW 320d Sport, which is just slightly better at 43%. Because EV technology is so new, automakers are going out of their way to assure and protect early adopters, which is certainly one of the reasons plug-in cars are holding their values so well.
“Clearly, there is still a difference here between EVs and diesels but there are signs that it is closing all the time,” said Rupert Pontin Glass’s head of valuations. “Crucially, when the overall running costs of an EV are taken into account, factors such as savings on fuel mean that they may beat traditional models.”
Pontin goes on to call the Tesla Model S the “gold standard” of EV residual values, which can be thanks in large part to Elon Musk’s assured resale values. There’s also the “happiness guarantee” that lets Tesla leasees return their car, no questions asked, if they’re not totally satisfied, keeping used Model S values remain remarkably high on the secondary market. Can the trickle down effect help boost the values of other EVs?
It may already be doing just that, improving the perception people have of this new mode of motivation.