Electric car depreciation – will electric vehicles lose their value?

All vehicles lose their value over time – depreciation affects any vehicle, be it electric or not. How much electric vehicles lose depends on many factors

Once a new car is driven off the forecourt, it'll start losing money – such is the unwritten law of automotive economics. How much a car depreciates depends on a lot of factors, from how popular the brand and model is, how old it is, whether it’s known to have mechanical issues, and whether it's seen to be reliable in the long run.

On average, a new car will have a residual value of around 40% of its purchase price after three years. However, some cars depreciate more than others.

Initially, electric vehicles saw big falls in residual values. This was largely because the secondhand market for them was small and because buyers didn’t know much about the technology.

However, recent years have seen both electric and hybrid vehicles begin to hold their value better. This is thanks to more models entering the market, as well as better public understanding of the benefits of hybrid and electric cars.

Valuations specialist cap hpi provided DrivingElectric the below data to show how different electric and hybrid vehicles depreciate over time.

Chris Plumb, Black Book editor at cap hpi, told DrivingElectric: “Demand for used electric and hybrid vehicles continues to grow as consumers purchase them for either the TCO [Total Cost of Ownership] savings, green credentials or just enjoy the unique driving dynamics these cars offer.

“As demand has grown, this has resulted in resale values stabilising or even in some cases increasing as more and more people are accepting of the technology. As more ultra-low-emission zones are rolled out around the country and with high fuel prices, zero and low-emission vehicles will surely enter more and more people’s consideration lists.”