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Electric Cars May Depreciate More Than Expected

September 2, 2010

Electric VehiclesContrary to popular belief, the electric car could be more expensive to run than its gas equivalents.

According to a study by Mitsubishi, which surprisingly is getting ready to launch its own electric car, high purchase price and rapid depreciation are what may make electric cars uncompetitive financially.

All new-car buyers take a hit on depreciation, as much as 20 percent the minute it's driven off the dealer lot.

With an EV, the battery pack often accounts for a much larger percentage of the car's original value. The problem is that no one knows how long the EV's battery will retain a charge.

Nissan has said that the Leaf battery might only hold 80 or 70 percent of its original charge after ten years. This makes the car worth considerably less.

But there are other benefits to going gasoline free - like no tailpipe emissions.

Considering other EV tradeoffs, such as range and infrastructure, depreciation is another thing EV buyers will have to take into account before purchasing.

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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