Report: EVs Could Be Worthless On The Used Car Market After Just 5 Years

Report: EVs Could Be Worthless On The Used Car Market After Just 5 Years

Glass’s Guide, car valuation experts from the UK have studied the long-term ownership costs of EVs, such as the forthcoming Nissan Leaf (shown, above.) The news isn’t looking good. Glass’s reports that after 5 years of ownership, EVs will retain only about 10 percent of their value, as opposed to the 25 percent residual value of a comparable gasoline or diesel powered car.

The primary source of this massive depreciation comes from the expected shelf life of 8 years for the battery packs, which can cost up to $15,000 to replace.

Nissan, and European counterpart Renault, have both expressed the possibility of leasing options for EVs, solving the problem of residual value (on the customer’s end, at least.) Renault leases battery packs to owners for about $150 per month, and if you remove the huge battery pack replacement number from the equation, EVs could be the best performing cars on the road in terms of residual value.

[Source: Autocar]

  • Chad

    It would take long? I find them to be worthless NOW, and they aren’t even common.

  • curt

    Not sure if that will be true or not. Nissan has quoted that the batteries would be at 70% SOC of their original level with 10 years use. If that is true then the assumptions made by this author are just plain flat-out wrong.

    In my case, I plan to use the spent batteries as a reserve storage with a home solar panel power system. So I expect to get at least 15 years use out of the batteries. Just not all in the car is all. Also, by the time they need to be swapped the battery storage capacity will be improved to extend the range. In addition, the author has not even considered that Nissan is teaming up with others to provide an after-market for used EV batteries. This in turn would boost the resale value.

    Seems more like a win/win situation to me over a ICE vehicle any day. Once gas hits $5/gallon (I bet within a year), I think the author will then change his tune.

  • Steve EV

    In five years my solar will have paid off and my electricity becomes free. The chioce then becomes a commitment to a fuel cost. I would stay with free fuel. Since I only use half of my electric vehicle range on a busy day 70% of battery capacity is still more than enough. Residual value does not really matter unless one expects to replace the vehicle, and I expect free fuel to be far more valuable than new paint.