It’s hard enough trying to predict how rapidly a normal car will depreciate, but estimating the loss of value of an electric vehicle is a whole other ball game.
As battery technology advances and manufacturers launch newer models with longer ranges, more performance and shorter charging times, the electric cars of today could soon be considered old hat in a relatively short period of time.
For that reason, it is vital that an electric vehicle you buy today has the best chance of enduring the test of time.
Fortunately, vehicle valuations experts CAP has named those among the strongest value retainers on the market right now.
Low emissions; slow depreciation: With the help of valuations experts CAP, we’ve named the electric cars on the market that retain the most value after 2 years. Where does the Nissan Leaf (pictured) feature? Find out below
Depreciation is a huge factor when purchasing – or financing – any car.
Cash buyers will want to get as much money back as possible when it comes time to sell while the majority who acquire vehicles on finance will want a value-retaining motor to ensure their monthly PCP payments are as low as possible.
CAP has provided data to Motoring Research to identify which electric cars are slowest to shed their value over a two-year ownership period covering 20,000 miles.
For most traditional cars, the vehicle loses between 50 and 60 per cent of their value in these opening 24 months – with the biggest hit of all coming in the first year.
How do electric models compare?
These are the 12 slowest depreciating electric vehicles in showrooms today. Note there’s one big omission from the list: the recently launched Tesla Model 3, which hasn’t quite been on sale long enough to calculate a future value.
The same can be said about the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro, both of which are slightly too new to feature here.
New prices listed for each model below are inclusive of the £3,500 government’s Plug-in Car Grant for electric vehicles.
12. Renault Zoe
Renault thought it was being smart by selling customers the Zoe and offering the option of leasing the battery to improve residuals. It hasn’t quite gone to plan
Price from: from £18,420
Average price paid: £29,965
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 52.5%
Average depreciation (£): -£15,740
Renault knows that future values of electric cars is a big concern among buyers.
That’s why it’s one of the only manufacturers to offer customers the option of leasing the battery separately from the rest of the vehicle.
Despite this, the Zoe manages to hemorrhage more than half of its value over a period of 24 months.
11. BMW i3
The i3 was a technological tour-de-force when it arrived 7 years ago. It’s now starting to feel dated compared to rivals
Price from: from £31,680
Average price paid: £36,753
Value lost after 2yrs/20k miles: 47.1%
Average depreciation (£): -£17,331
When the i3 first arrived in 2013 it was revolutionary; batteries packed into the chassis floor; a lightweight construction body; a totally flat floor; cabin materials made from recycled products.
It looked like nothing else on the road and had the desirable BMW badge.
Fast forward a few years and values haven’t been retained as well as before, mainly as the range is limited compared to modern rivals. CAP says they depreciate almost in half after a couple of years.
10. Nissan e-NV200
The e-NV200 makes it into the list, mainly because is the only electric vehicle offering the option of 7 seats
Price from: from £29,255
Average price paid: £35,695
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 43.8%
Average depreciation (£): –£15,620
The e-NV200 is an electric car like no other on the market, offering masses of space to eco-conscious large families.
Available with the choice of five or seven seats, it’s the only enormously-sized EV on the market, which explains why it has crept into this list.
CAP says it will retain 56.2 per cent of its original value on average after two years and 20,00 miles.
9. Smart EQ Fortwo Cabrio
The Fortwo Cabrio is the first of 3 Smart EQ electric models to make it into the list. It’s currently the only electric convertible car you can buy
Price from: from £19,835
Average price paid: £27,080
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 43.3%
Average depreciation (£): -£11,730
A Smart car might not have been top of your shopping list when hunting for a new electric model, but the Fortwo Cabrio does offer one unique selling point – it’s your only choice if you’re after an electric convertible.
It won’t be suitable for everyone, though – it only has two seats and the range is a relatively limited 70 miles.
Retaining over 55 per cent of its value over two years, the option of top-down battery-powered driving appears to be a strong USP.
8. Smart EQ Forfour
The Smart Forfour is the Daimler offering in the battery-powered supermini segment. Of all the cars here, it’s the one that sheds the least over 2 years and 20,000 miles in monetary terms
Price from: from £18,190
Average price paid: £21,795
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 43.2%
Average depreciation (£): -£9,420
The latest Smart EQ models are depreciating pretty slowly as a whole, including the larger Forfour, which offers space in the back and a marginally bigger boot.
In monetary terms it sheds the least amount of cash of all the cars in this list.
It will lose 43.2 per cent of its value after two years – an average of just under £9,500 if you paid £21,900 for one.
7. Smart EQ Fortwo
The standard Smart Fortwo is the slowest depreciating of the three models. It’s also the most popular
Price from: from £17,640
Average price paid: £22,028
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 40.3%
Average depreciation (£): -£8,888
If your electric car needs are only for the city, the Smart EQ Fortwo is not a bad option.
It’s tiny, easy to park and maneuver and can go a claimed 70 miles between charges. It’s also available as a hatchback or a cabriolet.
It’s not the quickest car on the planet, but depreciation is equally as pedestrian. After two years and 20,000 miles it will still have almost 60 per cent of its original value.
6. Tesla Model S
A Model S is expected to retain over 60% of its value after 2 years, however you’re still likely to lose close to £40,000 after just 24 months
Price from: £73,700
Average price paid: £96,383
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 39.2%
Average depreciation (£): -£39,200
If you’re shopping for a Tesla Model S then you’ll need fairly deep pockets. Currently the most affordable new model on sale – the Long Range – starts from £77,200 before the plug-in grant and goes as high as £91,800.
On average you can expect a Model S to have retained 60.8 per cent of what you paid for it two years previously.
Still, that could work out at almost a £36,000 loss due to the Model S’s high price.
5. Hyundai Ioniq EV
The Hyundai Ioniq is the Korean brand’s answer to an all-electric family hatchback. It will lose two fifths of its value over 2 years
Price from: from £26,745
Average price paid: £30,690
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 38.3%
Average depreciation (£): -£11,974
Hyundai now has the Kona in its range which is likely to be at the thick end of this list, but is too new to measure residuals right now.
The Ioniq, which has been out for longer, does feature, holding 61.7 per cent of its value after a two-year spell.
This is somewhat helped by its long warranty, which will give second-hand buyers peace of mind.
4. Nissan Leaf
Nissan’s Leaf is the best-selling electric car around the world to date. The latest model offer more range and shorter charging times
Price from: from £24,495
Average price paid: £31,268
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 35.5%
Average depreciation (£): £11,118
The Nissan Leaf has been the volume-selling model in the short history of the battery-power vehicle, with more than 400,000 being sold worldwide since 2010.
The latest example has taken a giant leap from the original, offering up to 219 miles of range, based on official figures.
On average, the latest car loses just over a third of its value over two years and 20,000 miles, with demand high on the used market.
3. Tesla Model X
The Model X is the priciest electric model to feature in this list. That said, it retains almost two thirds of its value after 2 years and 20,000 miles. Still, you’ll lose £37k
Price from: £78,700
Average price paid: £100,667
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 35.4%
Average depreciation (£): -£37,317
If you thought the Model S was expensive, wait until you check out the asking prices of the Falcon-wing door Model X.
You’ll need close to £100,000 to buy the range topper, but there is the benefit of it depreciating slowly.
This is partly thanks to Tesla’s clever software update technology, which allows its older cars to easily be retrofitted with the latest tech.
CAP says it will retain 64.6 per cent of its original value after two years. In monetary terms, that’s still quite a hefty loss.
2. Volkswagen e-Golf
Volkswagen Golfs traditionally hold their value exceptionally well. The e-Golf is no different
Price from: £30,340
Average price paid: £32,675
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 33.7%
Average depreciation (£): -£11,025
Volkswagen Golfs tend to hold their value well. In fact, prices for used TDI models barely wavered after the dieselgate scandal in 2015, so strong is the brand’s desirability.
The e-Golf, which has a 144-mile range by official test standards, shows that adding an electric powertrain bolsters that slow depreciation.
Examples lose just a third of their value in two years, says the experts. Though that could soon change when VW launches its I.D. range, including the first model – the 3 – which should offer longer driving distances between charges.
1. Jaguar I-Pace
If you’re in the market for an electric car that holds its value best, the Jaguar I-Pace is the model for you. Just a quarter of the original value slips over a 2 year ownership period
Price from: £64,495
Average price paid: £69,090
Value lost after 2 yrs/20k miles: 25.4%
Average depreciation (£): -£17,590
The I-Pace is the electric car to have right now. It’s cheaper than a Tesla, better built, arguably more stylish and has racked up a whole host of accolades, including the title of the World Car of the Year for 2019.
Waiting lists for models are pretty long, which might explain why they are holding three quarters of their value after two years and 20,000 miles.
That’s right, buy an I-Pace today for just under £65,500 and CAP says you’ll get £48,000 for it when you sell 24 months later.
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