EVs Depreciate Twice as Fast as Gas-Powered Cars, Study Shows

Electric cars may be good for the environment, but they’re anything but kind to your wallet, especially if you’re thinking of reselling them for an upgrade after a certain number of years.
Nissan Leaf is top selling EV in Ireland for 2019 12 photos
Photo: Nissan
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Figures released by Irish online marketplace DoneDeal to The Times reveal that an average electric model loses about 41 percent of its initial value in just 3 years of ownership. The depreciation is almost twice the rate of gasoline-powered vehicles and nearly on par with diesel cars. Hybrids fare considerably better, with a 26 percent rate of depreciation in the first 3 years.

Looking at the price of new EVs in 2016 and the prices those same EVs are sold to second owners in 2019, DoneDeal informs that Renault Zoe is the make with the highest percentage of depreciation: a whopping 61 percent.

The reason why electric cars lose value faster is evolving technology. To put it differently, makers strive to put out new, improved models as quickly as they can, which makes the older models less appealing. Add to that the wear and tear with the initial owner, which with EVs, translates into a battery range lower by at least 30 percent, and it’s easy to understand why used EVs have significantly less appeal than regular cars.

“The biggest impact on electric car resale value appears to come down to technology, which is changing rapidly,” Martin Clancy of DoneDeal says. “Electric cars produced even in 2016 have a much shorter range and fewer features than the newer models.”

“Electric cars from three years ago will have smaller battery packs compared to what’s on the market now,”
John Hayes, a senior lecturer in electric vehicles at University College Cork, says for the publication. “They are competing with cars with longer range, so that could put people off buying them second hand.”

In Ireland, where the study was conducted, the Nissan Leaf is the top selling electric car for 2019, followed by the Hyundai Kona. The Leaf has a 53 percentage depreciation rate, but the Kona isn’t included in the top 10.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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