Electric Cars Can Hold A Charge, But - For Now - Not Their Value

Casey Williams considers the reasons why - for now - electric drive car resale values are projected to be low compared to their gasoline or hybrid competitors.

Published: 27-Jan-2014

In December, USA TODAY published the results of a study it commissioned with Kelley Blue Book. The conclusion: Electric cars don’t hold their value as well as conventional cars.

The story projected residual values for electric cars after five years. For example, the Nissan Leaf is expected to retain 15 percent of its new value vs. 36 percent for a similar Sentra. Ford’s Focus EV will retain 20 percent vs. 36 percent for a Focus Titanium. The Chevy Spark EV is projected to return 28 percent compared with 40 percent for a standard model.

To find out why this might be so, we turned to Ricky Beggs, senior vice president and editorial director of auto value guide Black Book.


Computer Illustration of Nissan Resonance

Bill Chameide, Duke University's Dean of Nicholas School of the Environment reviews the e-drive offerings at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid similar to that driven by Professor Shapiro.

Retired Wayne State professor of Mechanical Engineering Howard Shapiro writes that hybrids make more sense than do all-electric cars.

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu with mockup of Chevrolet Volt battery pack behind him.

Some 488,000 hybrids and electric car were sold in the USA in 2012, representing 3.3 percent of the market, but to reach 1 million by 2015, share would have to increase to 6 percent.


blog comments powered by Disqus