Electric cars are certainly the future of driving, but owners are being warned that today’s models are susceptible to losing their value at an alarming rate. The rapid development of plug-in vehicles means electric cars on sale today are quickly outdated and become worth much less when it comes time to sell, a new study shows.
The average electric car drops in value by 41 percent after three years – that compares to 24 percent for gas powered cars and 26 percent for hybrids, according to online marketplace DoneDeal.
The rapid rate of depreciation is almost a match for the value loss of under-fire diesels (43 percent), the research shows.
On average, a new car purchased three years ago in Ireland have lost a third (33 percent) of their value today, the website claimed.
However, electric cars are generally depreciating at a more rapid rate than this.
Despite being better for the environment, the study said the technology is advancing so quickly that future plug-in models are dwarfing the performance of those already on the market, making them much less appealing to used buyers.
As a result, electric models sold three years ago are depreciating almost as quickly as diesels, which have in recent years been targeted by governments and cities with higher taxation and an introduction of subsidies to use – and even park – them.
Martin Clancy, from DoneDeal, said: ‘The biggest impact on electric car resale value appears to come down to technology, which is changing rapidly. Electric cars produced even in 2016 have a much shorter range and fewer features than the newer models.’
Clancy added that as ranges of newer electric cars get longer – and the charging infrastructure also improves – the depreciation gap between electric and petrol cars should shrink. However, ongoing concerns regarding the longevity of electric cars, especially those used on a daily basis and charged regularly, are still impacting demand on the second-hand market.
The rapid rate of development of electric vehicles, with newer models having longer range and shorter charging times, means last year’s models pale in comparison to current models.
A third of US drivers like to change their cars at least every four years – this means deteriorating performance of batteries is likely to limit the appeal of electric models for used buyers, a recent survey suggests. Electric cars from three years ago will have smaller battery packs compared to what’s on the market now.
Clancy went on to add that electric car batteries are likely to need replacement after eight years because the battery’s range would have dropped by about 30 percent by then.
DoneDeal says the Nissan Leaf is the top selling electric car in Ireland. It said 933 were sold in the first half of this year compared with 566 for the whole of 2018.
However, the second best seller of 2019 so far – the Hyundai Kona (897 sold) – is holding value much better. This is due to it having a much longer range than its Nissan counterpart. Based on official figures, the latest Leaf can cover up to 168 miles between charges, while the Kona boasts a range of 279 miles before needing a plug-in.
DoneDeal suggests the Hyundai Kona (pictured) is depreciating much slower than the Nissan because it has a range of 279 miles – over 100 miles more than the Leaf.
Figures released by car valuations experts Glass’s to gap insurance firm InsuretheGap suggests the Leaf isn’t the quickest depreciating plug-in model at the moment, though. It found that the Renault Zoe loses a monumental 61 percent of its value in three years from its purchase price of $23K in 2016 to only $8970 value in 2019.
The Leaf was tied for second as the quickest depreciating plug-in model, with both it and the BMW 330e losing 53 percent of their value in the last three years.
Below is a list of the fastest depreciating electric and hybrid models in the UK.
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