KBB study shows pure electrics coming up short in resale

In an analysis done for USA Today, KBB reports that electric vehicles have poorer resale values than comparable conventionally powered or hybrid vehicles. Among those with the biggest depreciation over 5 years include the Chevrolet Spark EV, Ford Focus Electric and the Nissan Leaf.

The Leaf is projected at having a residual value of 15-percent over 5 years, while a comparable Sentra would be worth 36-percent. The Focus EV would return only 20-percent of its $35,995 sticker, compared to a 36-percent for the Focus Titanium and the Chevy Spark EV just 28-percent of its $28,305 MSRP in contrast to 40 percent for a standard model.

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Other KBB data shows that the Fiat 500e, Smart Fortwo electric and the Leaf top the list for 2014 models expected to experience the greatest depreciation.

The reasons for the high depreciation are the low lease payments, discounts and tax breaks that can range from $7,500 to $10,000 for pure electrics.

But KBB also found that plug-in hybrids also take a hit compared to their conventional counterparts-due in part for their higher stickers. Porsche's hybrid Panamera E-Hybrid has a predicted resale of 37-percent versus 41 percent for a gas model, while the Prius plug-in suffers 2-percent more depreciation against a conventional hybrid Prius' expected return of 35 percent after 5 years.

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