Plug-in electric cars may be cutting-edge technology, but an analysis suggests that most will depreciate more dramatically over five years than their conventional counterparts.
Some of the biggest value gaps involve 2014 models powered only by batteries, entirely without gas engines, according to the analysis performed by Kelley Blue Book at the request of USA TODAY. Examples:
•Chevrolet Spark EV. The little electric is projected to be worth 28% of its $28,305 list price in five years, while a comparable conventional version of the same car will retain 40% of its value.
•Ford Focus Electric. The compact will be worth 20% of its initial $35,995 list price, while a well-outfitted conventional Focus Titanium with an automatic transmission will still command 36%.
•Nissan Leaf. Even the best-selling pure electric car is projected at having a residual value of 15% for the 2013 model. A similar Nissan Sentra SL compact would retain 36%.