PHOTO CAPTION: Nissan LEAF is a relative latecomer to the electric car market in Britain.

Electric Car Values Half That of Other Vehicle Classes, Report UK Group

CAP Automotive finds that among all vehicle classes, electric cars have depreciated the worse over a typical three year valuation period.

Published: 01-Dec-2013

It's no secret that cars are a bad investment. From the moment you drive one off the dealer's lot, it suddenly loses at least a couple thousand dollars/pounds/euros in value. By the time you've owned it for three years, it's typically worth 30-40% of its original sticker price, that is unless it's an electric car, in which case it might be worth only 20% of what you paid for it.

That's the conclusion of the UK-based car pricing analysts at CAP Automotive, who recently looked at the value of the handful of models available in the UK for the last three years. When looking at comparable diesel and hybrid models, CAP found these vehicles typically retained an average of 44.7 and 43.6 percent of their original list price, respectively.

The Telegraph reports, however, that CAP researchers did not take into account the British government's £5,000 EV grant or other available incentives, such as free parking and freedom from London's aggressive £10/day congestion charge, equivalent in US dollars to more than $16.30 at current exchange rates.

Also impacting valuation is public perception of electric cars on everything from battery range and charging infrastructure to unfamiliarity with the technology. The limited number of electric vehicle options likely also sways their valuation. The number and types of electric cars has been limited to vehicles like the G-Whiz (the Reva neighborhood car out of India) and an initial influx of Nissan LEAFs and Mitsubishi i-MiEVs, as well as handful of Tesla Roadsters; all first generation models.

Interestingly, the Toyota Prius has held its value. CAP Automotive reports its average value at 45.3 per cent over the same three year period. This could be attributed both to the car's quality, as well as its longevity in the market, now more than a decade.

Here is how other vehicle classes fair after three years in the United Kingdom:

1. Supercar 53.5% (-£74,081)
2. SUV 53.0% (-£14,367)
3. Luxury executive 52.8% (-£103,980)
4. Sports 49.8% (-£27,342)
5. Convertible 47.2% (-£16,844)
6. Executive 45.6% (-£19,406)
7. City car 44.4% (-£5,973)
8. Supermini 44.3% (-£8,336)
9. Lower medium 42.3% (-£11,455)
10. Upper medium 41.9% (-£15,163)
11. Large executive 40.1% (-£39,797)
12. MPV 39.7% (-£11,994)
13. Coupé Cabriolet 39.3% (-£18,516)
14. Electric 20.2% (-£21,290)

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