Back before there was a Chevorlet Volt, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S or Fisker Karma, there were a lot of unknowns.
Like, were these cars really going to get their claimed mileage?
How long do the batteries actually last for and how long would the automaker's warranty these things for?
But, the BIGGEST question of all to any keen car shopper and anyone without their head lodged far up their derriere was "what will the depreciation be like on an electric vehicle?"
It turned out that no one would really have a good indication until the first round of models would hit the used car market. And it appears our friends from Consumer Reports are just starting to see this. Now that their Volt and Leaf have gone through their full test cycle, it's time to put these puppies up for sale.
Because no one wanted them, it took the vehicles to the dealer. The offers? The Leaf, which stickered at $35,430 was valued at $16,500 — that was the best offer. The Volt faired out slightly better. When bought new it stickered at $43,700 and the best a dealer could do was $23,000.
A BIG reason behind this has to do with the government-issued rebates. Depending on your location you may be able to snap up a NEW Volt or Leaf for the price of these trade-ins!
Now get this: It wasn't until Consumer Reports did a blog in January about the cars that the vehicles were sold.
Caveat emptor, Spies!
**Special thanks to AutoSpies user "topneuro" for making us aware of this story
Our electric test cars offer lessons in depreciation for early adopters.
Plug-in cars were supposed to be the next big thing. But once they're a year old, it turns out they're just used cars--and used cars with far worse depreciation than average...
...We sell them [the Consumer Reports test fleet], usually to employees or friends, and sometimes, when we get no interest among those groups, we trade them back in to dealers on the next batch of test cars.
That's where we are with our Volt and our Leaf.