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Plug-ins tend to lose their valueThursday, June 20, 2013

Category:Car Enthusiast Talk

The latest NADA Used Car Guide report showed that the value of plug-in electric vehicles is predicted to decrease more than any other vehicle segment. According to the report, the value of plug-in electrics is expected to decline 30 percent in 2013 on a year-over-year comparison. 

"The steep rate of depreciation for used plug-in electric vehicles can be attributed to limited range, manufacturer incentives and federal tax credits intended to offset the higher prices of new plug-in electric vehicles," said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide. "Generous tax credits can certainly promote more new sales than would have been achieved otherwise, but they also have a negative impact on future resale values for one basic reason - few consumers are willing to purchase a credit-ineligible, used plug-in electric vehicle for more than they would pay for a new one, less the federal tax credit. So at a minimum, late-model used plug-in electric vehicle prices must logically max out below the manufacturer's suggested retail price minus the credit."

The report gave the example of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt's decreasing value. According to the NADA Used Car Guide, the trade-in value for the Volt was $31,060 in May 2012. The value has since fallen nearly $10,000, to $21,235 in May 2013. The Volt only held 49 percent of its market suggested retail price. 

Plug-in sales rising
According to the separately released May 2013 Electric Drive Sales Dashboard from the Electric Drive Transportation Association, there was a record number of hybrid and plug-in sales in May. The report showed that the 7,754 plug-in vehicles sold in May added to the overall sales of 103,220 since the vehicle hit dealers a few years ago. EDTA President Brian Wynne said reaching the 100,0000-sale mark was a significant milestone for the industry.

"With constantly advancing technology and building consumer confidence, the electric drive industry is well positioned to carry this momentum forward," Wynne said. "It's no surprise that gasoline prices are spiking again, but now motorists have real alternatives to the monopoly fuel. These cars use far less gasoline than their combustion engine counterparts - or no gas at all. Not to mention they're incredibly fun to drive."

Despite the decrease in value of plug-in vehicles, consumers are still looking to save on fuel, which could explain the increase in sales. Those with fuel-efficient cars can keep their interiors as clean as their emissions by installing Husky Liners® vehicle floor mats.

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