Electric cars have the worst resale value of any type of vehicle, with one notable exception.
John Goreham's picture

Report: Tesla Model S only EV without a terrible resale value

Electric cars have the worst resale value of any type of vehicle, with one notable exception.
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According to a recent report from NADA, electric vehicles have terrible resale value, with the exception of one car model. For example, the battery-electric Nissan Leaf retains just 27% of its new vehicle MSRP after three years. By comparison, the average for similarly sized gasoline-powered vehicles is 50%. The Toyota Prius hybrid’s value retention after three years is 54%. So which electric vehicle model bucks the trend? The Tesla Model S, which retains 56.2% of its value.

The Tesla Model S is still winning awards after four years on the market and the Model S is also the only EV model to be still seeing increases in sales. The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf have seen their high water marks and are in decline. The Prius Plug-In has been redesigned and has just re-entered the market as the Prius Prime. Its sales had dwindled to nearly zero before the new model arrived.

The low resale values that most EVs suffer from are not common to green cars in general as the Prius example illustrates. An even better example of a green vehicle that has outstanding value retention is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which retains 61% of its value after three years.

As we all know, tax incentives and state EV rebates, along with huge discounts on slow-moving EVs like the 2015 Volt are most of the reason why used EVs sell at such low prices. However, as the Model S has proven, a winner is always in demand.

View the full NADA report here.


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