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By The Numbers: Comparing Electric-Car Resale Values – Forbes

by Nov 8, 2022Blog0 comments

The full-electric Ford Mustang Mach-e, which remains in tremendous demand, is predicted to retain 52 … [+] percent of its original value after five years.
While new vehicles come attached with retail prices that are determined by their respective manufacturers, market forces ultimately dictate how much a given used vehicle is worth. These include regional supply and demand issues, historical data, the vehicle’s condition, the number of miles it’s been driven, and in the case of electric cars, its available operating range on a charge.
If one were to ask the question, what will a given EV’s resale value be after three-to-five years on the road, the answer a year or more ago would have been, “not much.” With the exception of Teslas, which have always been able to retain their residual values best, electric have traditionally been the poster children for excessive depreciation.
Their categorically low resale values tended to be sub-par in large part to the federal one-time tax credit that effectively slashed an EV’s transaction price by as much as $7,500, along with comparatively weak marketplace demand, and the limited range of older models.
But all three of those factors have been thrown to the proverbial curb lately. With gas prices having risen sharply in recent months, demand for and sales of EVs have likewise jumped to record highs. This, in turn, has helped their pre-owned prices to hit the roof.
As it is, used-car prices in general jumped by an average of nearly 11 percent from August 2021 to 2022, due largely to ongoing supply shortages on the new-car side of a dealer’s lot. But that’s pocket change compared to used electric vehicle prices, which vaulted by an average 56.7 percent over the same period according to the online automotive marketplace
At the same time, the current fleet of EVs can run for far many more miles than their predecessors, with 250 or more miles now relatively common, compared to the first generation of battery-powered cars that could barely approach and break the 100-mile limit. The top Lucid Air trim can go for more than 500 miles at a time. Even assuming a modest loss in range over time, this makes buying a new model a safer bet in terms of bringing back a decent resale value down the road.
As a result, the Nissan Leaf, previously a model that had suffered one of the industry’s most-dismal EV resale values, was worth 45 percent more at summer’s end this year, than in 2021.
The federal tax credit’s effect on depreciation, however, is a bigger question mark with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act this summer that extended the program through the end of 2032, albeit with major limitations that now render most EVs ineligible. On the plus side, the bill reinstates General Motors’ and Tesla’s participation in the program after being reaching the 200,000-unit sales threshold for EVs and plug-in hybrids set by the original initiative.
Now, however, only those models assembled in North American qualify, provided they cost less than $55,000 for cars and $80,000 for SUVs and pickup trucks. As it stands that limits the number of EVs eligible for the $7,500 credit to just six models, with four more being added to the list after January 1 (you can find the complete list in a previous post). What’s more, the federal subsidies are now only available to families having gross incomes of less than $300,000.
How this situation will affect the current crop of EVs three-to-five years down the road is anyone’s guess, but with demand expected to remain high and supply of new models still being affected by supply chain shortages, their future worth should remain solid. However, the scales may yet be tipped in the other direction unless demand keeps pace with the flood of new EVs expected to reach dealer showrooms in the coming years.
In the meantime, we scoured the five-year resale value estimates as compiled by the valuation experts at and to try and determine which EVs can be expected to stay hot—or not—down the road. These sites base their estimates on data collected from wholesale auctions, used-car dealers, car rental and other fleet customers, leasing companies, and private party transactions. They also take into consideration historical trends, economic conditions, industry developments, and both seasonal and location-based supply and demand.
As it stands, says the average new vehicle can be expected to retain around 40 percent of its original worth after five years, give or take depending on the model, location, supply, demand, and overall condition. However, as they say in the stock market, past results may not predict future performance, especially if EVs remain in short supply and burgeoning demand.
Still, the best EVs in this regard are currently predicted to wind up at or above the average mark, with the Chevrolet Bolt EUV currently beating all comers according to the aforementioned valuation sources. It’s expected to hold onto 66 percent of its initial worth after 60 months, though could take a downward turn next year, however, as the vehicle again becomes eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit. On the other hand, the Ford Mustang Mach-e, which remains in tremendous demand and in fact qualifies for the credit, is predicted to retain 52 percent of its original value after five years.
Here’s a look at select EVs’ estimated five-year retained values, according to the latest figures from and Newer models tend to not yet have predictions posted. These projections apply to base models in each line and, as one might infer at this point in the discussion, are subject to change:

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