Electric cars rivaling diesels for residual values

Nissan Leaf

After a shaky start with British car buyers, it seems that drivers are finally warming to the idea of electric cars, as residual values are rising to levels similar to those of our beloved diesels.

Car valuation experts Glass's, whose monthly guide many car dealers use to set forecourt prices, say that forecasts are "already broadly similar" to those of diesels, the Press Association reports.

The company cites the Tesla's Model S, which is predicted to have a 43 per cent residual value after three years and 60,000 miles – identical to the popular and desirable BMW 535d M Sport saloon.

Until now, residual values for electric vehicles have remained low thanks to buyers being concerned over the longevity of battery packs and the potential for expensive replacements. However, as the technology has advanced, electric vehicles have enjoyed increased uptake, with a positive knock-on effect to retained values.

"The Vauxhall Ampera Electron's 27.58 per cent at 3 year 60,000 miles is not far adrift of the Insignia SRI CDTi's 34.56 per cent," Glass's said in a statement, "while the BMW i3 REX at 39.11 per cent is just a few points away from the BMW 320d Sport's 43.46 per cent."

Rupert Pontin, head of valuations at Glass's, told the Press Association: "Clearly, there is still a difference here between EVs and diesels but there are signs that it is closing all the time.

"Crucially, when the overall running costs of an EV are taken into account, factors such as savings on fuel mean that they may beat traditional models."