Report: EVs are holding their value better than ICEs

I. Understanding the Value Retention of Electric Vehicles: An Introduction

In recent years, the automobile industry has seen an exponential surge in the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs). Once considered a distant reality, EVs are now leading the charge towards a greener, more sustainable future. As consumers increasingly shift their preference from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs, one significant advantage that's often overlooked is value retention.

United States – Relative EV Sales

Like any other vehicle, EVs are subject to depreciation, but their depreciation pattern reveals a compelling story. The initial models of EVs, with their limited demand and subpar quality, were known to depreciate quickly. However, the game has changed considerably with advancements in technology and the entrance of premium EV manufacturers like Tesla, Polestar, Nio.

These modern EV brands have not only improved the quality of EVs but also enhanced their battery life, thereby making a remarkable impact on their value retention. According to CarWow, EVs retain approximately 48% of their original value after three years, while ICE vehicles retain just under 40%.

Of course, individual depreciation can vary based on various factors such as driving habits and maintenance. Nevertheless, it's noteworthy that premium EVs hold their value better than their budget counterparts. For instance, opting for a high-quality brand like Tesla could prove beneficial for long-term value, establishing EVs as a smarter investment choice.

In the forthcoming sections, we will delve deeper into the trends of EV vs ICE vehicle value retention, the remarkable case of Tesla, factors impacting the value of EVs, and expert predictions about the future of EV value retention.

II. Tracing the Value Retention of EVs: A Look at Past Trends

To fully appreciate the value retention of electric vehicles, it's essential to scrutinize past trends, drawing from reliable sources such as the study conducted by the Duisburg Center Automotive Research (CAR).

The CAR's analysis provides an intriguing comparative depreciation insight into the top-selling ICE vehicles and popular EVs. This examination revealed that despite the evolving market conditions and technological progress, EVs were able to sustain their value better than their gasoline or diesel counterparts.

One of the main factors contributing to this trend was the continuous support in the form of government incentives, which kept the depreciation rate of EVs comparatively low. However, as the EV technology advanced rapidly, it was anticipated that future depreciation might increase due to reduced incentives.

Not all brands were considered equal in the EV market. For example, Tesla and Porsche EVs were expected to retain stable values due to their high-quality builds and brand reputation. Despite currently holding a small portion of the used car market, EVs represented a significant 15% of new car sales, primarily driven by the Tesla Model Y.

As we trace these past trends, it becomes clear that the EV market is dynamic and ever-evolving. In the next section, we delve into the extraordinary case of Tesla and other top-performing EV brands and how they have succeeded in maintaining strong value retention.

III. Holding Their Ground: Tesla and Other Top-Performing EV Brands

Among the myriad of EV brands vying for market dominance, Tesla stands as an exemplary case of successful value retention. A recent analysis by the Duisburg Center Automotive Research (CAR) highlighted the impressive performance of Tesla's Model 3, which maintains its value extraordinarily well.

While traditional gasoline and diesel cars experience steeper depreciation rates, Tesla's Model 3 owners have been able to resell their cars at similar prices three years later. This remarkable retention of value is a testament to Tesla's commitment to quality and innovation.

Factors such as supportive government policies and rapid progress in the EV market have significantly influenced this trend. Tesla's innovative technology, coupled with government incentives, has played a crucial role in their ability to retain value.

Beyond Tesla, CAR Director Ferdinand Dudenhöffer predicts that other strong EV brands like Porsche will continue to hold stable values in the future. It's noteworthy that EVs, while holding a modest share in the used car market, account for a substantial 15% of new car sales. This trend is significantly propelled by the dominance of Tesla's Model Y.

In the following section, we will examine the various factors that influence the value of EVs and why they have become the vehicle of choice for many environmentally-conscious and financially-savvy consumers.

IV. What Drives the Value of Electric Vehicles?

As we delve deeper into the world of electric vehicles (EVs), it becomes apparent that their value is influenced by a combination of elements. To truly grasp the value proposition of EVs, it is essential to understand these underpinning factors.

  • EVs outperform their ICE counterparts in terms of energy efficiency. They use less energy to cover the same distance, leading to substantial savings on fuel costs over time.
  • Driving experience offered by EVs is superior, characterised by smooth handling and swift acceleration. The absence of traditional engine noise further enhances the driving experience, offering a quieter, more serene journey.
  • EVs are relatively cost-effective. With fewer moving parts compared to ICE vehicles, there is less wear and tear, leading to lower maintenance costs.
  • The environmental impact, or rather, the reduced environmental impact of EVs, cannot be overstated. By emitting zero CO2 or greenhouse gases, EVs significantly reduce the overall carbon footprint. Consequently, EVs are instrumental in improving public health by decreasing air pollution-related health issues and deaths.
  • EVs offer several cost advantages that contribute to their value retention. Lower fuel and maintenance costs, combined with tax exemptions and lower depreciation rates, make EVs a financially sound choice.

V. Predicting the Future: Value Retention of Electric Vehicles

According to recent analyses and industry forecasts, the future of EV value retention looks promising. As Tesla's Model 3 has demonstrated, well-manufactured EVs have the potential to retain their value exceptionally well.

It's worth noting that used EVs tend to hold their value better than their gasoline and diesel counterparts, a trend expected to continue in the foreseeable future. However, this landscape is dynamic and influenced by numerous factors, including market supply and demand, technological advancements, and policy incentives.

As the market continues to evolve, there is a potential for increased supply of EVs and reduced government incentives. These shifts may impact future EV depreciation rates. That being said, well-established and strong EV brands like Tesla and Porsche are expected to retain their value stability in the face of these potential changes.

Although EVs presently account for a small proportion (1.1%) of the used car market, they are making their presence felt in new car sales, representing a significant 15%. The dominance of Tesla Model Y in this segment is a clear indication of the shifting consumer preferences.

VI. The Final Take: Electric Vehicles and Their Value Retention

In wrapping up our exploration of electric vehicles and their value retention, it is clear that EVs are more than just a sustainable transportation alternative. They also present an advantageous financial proposition, particularly when compared to their ICE counterparts.

From their higher energy efficiency to their lower maintenance costs, EVs offer a myriad of benefits that add to their overall value. Moreover, top-performing brands like Tesla and Porsche have demonstrated remarkable value retention, making them a smarter investment for consumers seeking long-term value.

As we look towards the future, the potential increase in supply of EVs and the possible reduction in government incentives may present new challenges. However, the overall trajectory for EVs remains positive, especially for high-quality, well-established brands.

Considering the value retention of EVs is paramount when evaluating your next vehicle purchase. As we continue to transition to a more sustainable future, the financial advantages of EVs further solidify their position as the smart, responsible choice.


Are electric vehicles a good investment?

Yes, electric vehicles are a good investment. They tend to hold their value better than traditional gasoline or diesel vehicles, particularly high-quality brands like Tesla and Porsche. Additionally, they offer several cost advantages such as lower fuel and maintenance costs, and tax exemptions.

What is the future of EV resale values?

The future of EV resale values looks promising. Although there may be changes in market supply and policy incentives that could affect depreciation rates, strong EV brands are expected to maintain their value stability.

How does the increase in used EVs on the market impact their value?

An increase in used EVs on the market could potentially impact their value, depending on various factors like brand, model, and condition. However, given the increasing demand for EVs, the impact on their value may be balanced out in the long run.

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