When it comes to new cars, more green now means less green later. The UK-based CAP Automotive, which regularly publishes auto-depreciation reports, recently released a study that found that electric vehicles lose their value substantially faster than their gas-powered counterparts. Specifically, EVs in the UK lose about 80 percent of their value within the first three years of ownership, while most cars lose somewhere between 60 and 70 percent. The best value retainers are supercars, SUVs and luxury-executive vehicles, which all keep more than half their new-car value after three years.
The Telegraph points out that CAP didn't factor in the 5,000-pound incentive from the British government for new plug-in vehicles, nor did they calculate the value of free parking and exclusion from London's congestion charge. The publication also notes that Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf are in their first-generation incarnation, which tends to make people wary about buying them on the used-vehicle market.
That said, there has long been skepticism in the UK when it comes to the value of plug-in vehicles. In June 2010, UK's Glass' Guide came to the conclusion that EVs would lose about 90 percent of their value after five years of ownership. That research group suggested at the time that EV values would suffer particularly because batteries would be worthless after half a decade.