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40kW Leaf Tekna & 22kW Zoë Q210 dynamique intens
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So while we all have different requirements from our EV’s the biggest questions with any vehicle ownership over the time you own them is when to buy, when to sell?

Personally I am a very heavy user, I use my car for all city driving, all start stop and high milage.

So my strategy is this:

I buy 18 month - 2 year old cars that have done super low milage run them for 2 years and then trade up with average milage on the clock before the high wear I put on them renders them tatty, unreliable and destroys their value.

I need a totally reliable car and have no tolerance for repeat faults, issues and bits wearing out all the time, this is why I buy low wear, get all the best miles out of them and then get rid.

I nearly came unstuck with my Leaf because I failed to appreciate that standing doesn’t do batteries any favours, fortunately my heavy use has rebalanced the low cell.

My next big question though is this:

Im kind of uncharted territory because I’ve just dropped £20k on my first fully electric vehicle do I want to jettison it and move on just before something revolutionary comes along and makes its value fall off a cliff?

Or do I keep this one a bit longer and hope it’s really reliable and the loss of its value will be offset by the huge savings I’m making with it?

I have this niggling feeling that the EV market is so young that depreciation is going to be super high for some time to come!

What do you guys do?

Do you have a strategy?
 

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MG EZS 2020
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Well I prefer to buy new, but I'm thinking as you joined the forum just over 18 months ago you've had your Tekna for about that length of time. Just now the one year old second hand cars don't have great range if you discount the Teslas. If you wait a year you'll get the likes of the Corsa, ID3, Citroen and maybe even the Mach E coming to the second hand market. Might be worth the wait for the extra range??
 

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2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
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I think this is why leasing is so popular. A pcp on an 18 mth old low mileage car might work for you and give some certainty regarding future value. It might be slightly more expensive than your ownership model but that's mainly because it's a very good one.
 

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2015 LEAF 24s are still 8 grand.

That's pretty old tech and depreciation hasn't been disastrous.

c.20 grand gets a 214 mile WLTP brand new MG5

In 5 years I suspect family EVs range will be 200-300 miles typically in the 20-30 grand bracket so don't expect massive depreciation.

Batteries are the rate-limiting step for manufacturers - I imagine they'll do the sums and aim for 50-60kWh as the sweet spot for usability/price and being able to produce in big numbers.
 

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This isn't based on much experience or analysis, so think pub talk here....

I suspect it's an overrated idea that if you just sell at the right moment you can win big, and if you waited too long you lose big. I think the greater truth is that cars steadily depreciate over time.

I also think this idea you hear from time to time that new electric cars will come on to the market and trash the value of existing electric cars is possibly a bit overrated. If you are buying new and looking to sell in 2 years (not that I would recommend that) you can already tell what's coming down the pipeline so there won't be too many surprises. If you are looking to sell cars in some years say when they become 7 years old it won't matter what brand new electric cars are out there because the person you might sell your 7 year old electric car for for say £10,000 can't afford the brand new cars anyway.

I think there are millions of people out there eagerly waiting for more options around £10,000 or so second hand. I think it will be easy to sell these cars and EV depreciation shouldn't get worse than what we know of ICE cars in recent decades.

It doesn't look likely that say a new type of battery will be produced at double the range and half the price and be in a mass market car within a few years at a low price.

A low to moderate risk is that governments decide as a climate change policy to put a much bigger subsidy than existing subsidies on low to mid range new electric cars and make deals with manufacturers to produce them locally in big volume. And all of a sudden in a year or two there are brand new EVs for not a huge amount above £10,000. That could be a problem. But the odds are probably it won't happen.

I would be a bit more concerned if you spent £60k on a top of the range car. That does look risky but the EVs in the £20-25k range I personally wouldn't be too worried.

My strategy will be hold on to my car until my situation changes and if it doesn't change I could keep it for 5 or 7 years.
 

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MY15 Q210 and an MY18 R110
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Just to add a bit to what Jamie said.
Some of the decision depends on how much you expect to lose on the TCO of a car over the two years you have it.

If you have been through this cycle several times in the past, which it sounds like you have, then it should be simple enough to run some numbers for your situation and base your decision on that. If you keep an eye on second hand prices then you can judge whether it is time to bail or not. The longer you can leave it then your next car will be that much better.....theoretically

If you'd bought an EV over two years ago there is a decent chance the price has gone up, not sure where you get the idea depreciation is super high. I see it is pretty much flat now, maybe slightly down but only just.

Personally I'm don't think the UK gov will change any policy for buying EVs as the grant has continued to be errored over time and if/when a step change is made in battery tech comes about to bring the prices down then the grant will just be pulled and the second hand market won't be hit as hard anyway.
 

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40kW Leaf Tekna & 22kW Zoë Q210 dynamique intens
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your replies everyone! 👍

Leasing doesn’t really add up for me, I cover about 20k miles a year.

Its much cheaper to buy a 2 year old car with 4K on the clock and trade it in as a 4 year old car with 44k (average milage for age)

Every Toyota I have had has always been under manufacturers warranty whilst doing this.

I also dislike the way that leasing companies try and find any tiny fault and try and charge you when you return the vehicle.

Over the years I have had to add less and less money every other year to trade up to another 20 - 25k car depending on how well the value of my previous vehicle faired.

What I don’t want to do is loose 12k over 2 years on a leaf if I can avoid it.

It doesn’t look like the leaf will be face lifted during this time, in fact I’m not sure whether it is being discontinued for newer vehicles full stop.

So I’m hoping this will actually help it’s residual as it won’t be the ‘old model’, in 2 years time I’m hoping I will be spoilt for choice of 250 - 300 mile plus EV’s for circa £22.5k I certainly don’t think I will buy anything with less than a 60kW battery in future.
 

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Its much cheaper to buy a 2 year old car with 4K on the clock
Funnily enough I am contemplating selling my Kona which will just fit that.
EV itch scratched, but environmentally the low miles I do make no sense for a big batteried EV and I feel I'd rather cash it in and let someone else give the planet the benefit of reduced emissions.
 

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I think the depreciation on EVs is currently too low to be sustainable in the longer term as new EV sales ramp up. Compared to equivalent ICE vehicles, used EV prices look too high, used EVs are generally a good £7k - £12k more expensive than a comparable used ICE.

At the moment while EV sales are small and the supply of used EVs is very limited then demand may support these kind of premium used prices, but as supply ramps up and used EVs need to attract not just early adopters but more mainstream buyers then those prices will need to adjust downward. There needs to be some financial benefit to buying an EV to get buyers to switch to a used EV, some extra upfront cost for an EV is justified in order to buy those fuel cost savings, but not the current premium because for many drivers it will take many years of ownership to recoup the extra cost. There's also the need to price in the added uncertainty over battery longevity, long term range/capacity, repair costs etc as EVs get into the 5-15 year range.

It'll get interesting in around 2-3 years time, when the first waves of company fleet EV and from the PCPs/lease deals start hitting the used car market in sufficient volumes to need to attract more mainstream buyers, that will be when used prices meet reality.
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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I think the depreciation on EVs is currently too low to be sustainable in the longer term as new EV sales ramp up. Compared to equivalent ICE vehicles, used EV prices look too high, used EVs are generally a good £7k - £12k more expensive than a comparable used ICE.
Surely this reflects the premium that new EVs currently command? New EVs show no signs of coming in line with their ICE equivalents and instead are adding extra features such as bigger and bigger batteries, self-driving etc.
 

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2020 VW ID3 Life 58kWh
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What I don’t want to do is loose 12k over 2 years on a leaf if I can avoid it.
If you paid £20k for your 40kW Leaf I can't see it being worth £8k after 2 years. The old Leafs depreciated more than a typical EV and I know some people think it's due to the range or lack of thermal management but I suspect it's really down to it's looks.

Battery owned Zoe's seem to fetch more than the equivalent secondhand leaf now and even some battery lease models are quite expensive in comparison.

If I had to guess I'd say you'd loose 8k in depreciation but save around 4k in fuel and maintenance.
 

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2018 Nissan Leaf 40kWh Tekna - love it
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@Drewby80 - looks like you have a good grasp of the optimum car ownership model for your needs. Just keep on doing what you are doing. The problem of not being able to predict the future is something we all find difficult.
 

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If you paid £20k for your 40kW Leaf I can't see it being worth £8k after 2 years. The old Leafs depreciated more than a typical EV and I know some people think it's due to the range or lack of thermal management but I suspect it's really down to it's looks.

Battery owned Zoe's seem to fetch more than the equivalent secondhand leaf now and even some battery lease models are quite expensive in comparison.

If I had to guess I'd say you'd loose 8k in depreciation but save around 4k in fuel and maintenance.
The problem is that the LEAF is now a runout model and will not be replaced as such. At which point it will just be a secondhand Nissan - just look at the residuals of a Pulsar against a similar Cleo.

Any saving in fuel and maintenance is against an ICE, but not against another EV such as a Zoe or even an MG.
 

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2020 VW ID3 Life 58kWh
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Any saving in fuel and maintenance is against an ICE, but not against another EV such as a Zoe or even an MG.
True but I wouldn't use MG as an example of a low depreciation EV. Again like the old style leaf it's probably due to a perception problem this time with the brand instead of the look.

I like the MGs but a lot of "normal" folk I talked to wouldn't consider an MG due to either bad experience of the old days or bad perception of Chinese quality.
 

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NISSAN LEAF 62Kwh
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The ownership model for an ICE vehicle is totally different to the ownership model of an EV, long term ownership is more guaranteed because it’s not going to fail an MOT on the emissions test, because it’s zero emissions.

You could spend £30K an ICE vehicle for long term ownership, to find the 5 - 6 years down the line that the emissions test has been tightened so much that you trusty steed is heading for the crusher.

With an EV there is much less mechanically to go wrong, so therefore should be more reliable if brought from a manufacturer with a track record of reliability and longevity.

That’s my ownership model, long term ownership, not chopping and changing every couple of years. The emissions concern was the main driver in jumping 3 years ago from a BMW Diesel, so I bought a LEAF 40Kwh, which I intended to keep for 10 years. However being new to EV’s I didn’t fully appreciate that the battery will suffer from degradation every year and that 5 - 6 years in, that it may not make 100 miles range in Winter, which was not acceptable for my usage.

2 years in I decided to do something about it and upgraded to a 62KWh LEAF, the theory was that I was impressed with the build quality and reliability of the NISSAN for the long term. Plus the larger battery, even with the usual battery degradation, at 8 years at the end of the warranty, the vehicle will still have more range than a 40 KWh LEAF has new. The larger battery also helps to negate Rapidgate on longer journeys, and in having no complicated battery cooling system, actually less to go wrong, good for long term ownership.

I had the LEAF 40KWh for 2 years and covered 24K miles, I lost £6K is depreciation, on trading in, but saved £3K in fuel over diesel. So those 2 years cost me £1.5K, a year, which I thought was very okay.

Also, managed to get a massive saving on list price for the 62 KWh LEAF, so although I didn’t want to be trading in after 2 years, it probably worked out well as I now have a newer better specified car.

I am now 1 year in with the 62KWh, covered 9K miles and I absolutely thrilled with it and looking forward for the next 9 years to come.

So to summarise, buy quality for longevity, large battery to offset battery degradation, keep vehicle long term to minimise peaks and troughs in vehicle depreciation.
 

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You could spend £30K an ICE vehicle for long term ownership, to find the 5 - 6 years down the line that the emissions test has been tightened so much that you trusty steed is heading for the crusher.
The legislation is rarely retrospective in that way, although I will accept that ULEZ might have that effect if they expand to an area in which you live or need to travel regularly.
 
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