Nissan Leaf resale values may take a tumble, according to Kelley Blue Book. The vehicle evaluation resource said the 2013 Nissan Leaf will retain around 35 percent of its MSRP after three years; that's down five percent from what KBB gave the 2012 Leaf at the end of 2011. Automotive News reports KBB adjusted the EV's residual value prediction because the used transaction prices for the 2011 model have stuck around 35 percent for the past few months due to relatively cheap gasoline, not to mention the fact that Nissan trimmed the electric's MSRP from $36,050 to $29,650 before the $7,500 tax credit.

Since used buyers are often motivated by more practical buying concerns than early adopters or those wanting to curb their carbon emissions, they may not be willing to pay more for an EV. Meanwhile, early Leaf models are now coming to auction, abandoned by rental car companies after customers shunned them in favor of traditional internal-combustion vehicles. Many of those at auction have less than 10,000 miles and carry an average transaction price of just $13,700.


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  • 85 Comments
      ferps
      • 1 Year Ago
      Typically, the same model new car will go up price every year to adjust with inflation. In this case, you have a disruptive technology that gets much cheaper every year. It's more like electronics and computers. I wonder if Nissan will knock another $5000 off the price of a new Leaf 3 years from now.
        hgeorgech
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ferps
        If they knock $20k off of them, they still won't sell .. face it, the Leaf and its direct competitors (e.g. Volt) are IMpractical primary vehicles for 97% of the buying public
          m_2012
          • 1 Year Ago
          @hgeorgech
          I think you meant they ARE practical for 97% of buying public. People are disillusioned that they drive 200 miles a day every day and must have 300 mile range ALL the time. A volt is a hybrid, how is it impractical with its 300 mile range and gasoline ability?
          BRKF06
          • 1 Year Ago
          @hgeorgech
          Average commute in the USA is 10 miles each direction. So for over 50% of Americans, it's very safe to say the leaf is quite practical.
          Sir Duke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @hgeorgech
          Your theory is solidly rooted in ignorance. Nissan would have fared much better with the LEAF, if so many competitors weren't doing the same or similar thing so much better. The Volt is much more practical than the LEAF, as a primary vehicle. That 97% number was clearly plucked out of thin air. Another challenge for the Volt, is that its parked next to the Cruze in most Chevy dealerships. I have been a staunch Volt supporter from day one, and I would find it difficult to buy it over the Cruze. The economics just flat out favor the Cruze. A conservative guess is that at least 10% of Cruze owners really went in to look at the Volt, but left with a Cruze. I called crazy (read: DUMB) on the rental agencies decision to rent an all electric car that gets less than 100 miles in driving range. The executive who made this decision should not get a bonus. If I'm on vacation, why would I want this hassle?
      Anderlan
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Many of those at auction have less than 10,000 miles and carry an average transaction price of just $13,700." I need to go to auctions!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anderlan
        [blocked]
      Anne
      • 1 Year Ago
      Uhhm, what is the news? Californians get, how much, $10k rebate? That makes the 29k new LEAF 19k for the buyer. Who's gonna pay $20k for a 2nd hand if you can buy a new one for less? You should always factor in the rebates and then determine depreciation. I don't see anything extraordinary here.
      John Lee
      • 1 Year Ago
      watch out if you live in the 'hot' zones, i.e. Phoenix, Palm Springs, Vegas, etc. we already know what happens to these air cooled only Leafs in that type of climate, just ask the AZ owners.
      Spec
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is GREAT NEWS for people that wanted an electric car but could not afford the high price of a new car nor had the income to take advantage of the the tax credit. This is EXACTLY how the system was supposed to work . . . EVs are now being made available to lesser income people in the used market. The tax-credits create a 'trickle-down' system that ACTUALLY WORKS (unlike typical trickle-down economics.).
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      mycommentemail
      • 1 Year Ago
      While the math here doesn't add up (you have to use the post rebate price, not the full price when calculating depreciation) i wonder if these cars will suffer from accelerated depreciation vs. a standard ICE car. These cars are early in their technological lifetime. The batteries are especially early in the sense that they are fairly expensive and most likely don't offer as much range as similarly priced batteries will five years from now. So in five years when the second generation leaf comes out with 150 miles of real world range for nearly the same price as the current generation costs now, second hand leaf's with five years on their first gen batteries will seem like a comparatively bad deal unless they are significantly less expensive. A similarly used ICE car will be much more competitive with its five year newer replacement. Until battery technology settles down to a fairly high capacity and reasonably low cost, this will be the fate of these early electric cars. The technology advancements are happening so fast that any ev more than even just a few years old will start to feel dated, and after five or six years won't be competitive at all. So that's the down side. But on the up side, for those five years you won't be spending anything near the amount of money on fuel and basic maintenance that you would on a standard ICE car. It may not erase the depreciation curve entirely, but it will help. And then, let's consider a ten or twelve year old leaf. By then batteries will have gotten much better and much cheaper. Most of the cost of maintenance on an ICE vehicle stems from its powertrain. EV's, on the other hand are much much simpler. Usually they don't have much in the way of a transmission. The electric motor has only a few moving parts, and they tend to last forever. No emissions equipment. The leaf has no cooling system. No fluids. No pumps. No gaskets or valves. The only thing they have that you also find on an ICE vehicle (that typically needs repair) is suspension components. So there you are, twelve years from now considering a used car. What would you rather pay for? A twelve year old leaf that you will spend an additional two grand to have brand new 200 mile range batteries installed into, or a twelve year old ICE vehicle with god only knows how many issues that you will have to deal with? In the long haul, i think the EV's will hold their value better. Of course that would imply that early adopters hang on to their leaves for a really long time. I doubt that (they are early adopters after all and will most likely still be on the cutting edge). So they may bear the brunt of the weird depreciation curve. But I wouldn't be surprised if the economics of these cars, regardless of how many times they change hands over the next few years, turns out to be as i am guessing here.
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well look at the thing, it looks ridiculous. It looks like a dumb@ss. Early adopters may have been able to overlook the styling (those kind souls), but now that they are coming up on the used market it is clear the car-buying public is not. Nissan, why can't you just make it look like a normal car?
        Koenigsegg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        agreed, the people that disliked your comment are leaf owners (which have no taste in cars)
        bonehead
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        I recently was looking for a fuel efficient economy car with the goal of having a decent practical car. I didnt care how it looked. I test drove many hybrids (2 generations of prius, a couple lexus, and a few other efficient econo boxes). I also test drove a used leaf priced at $20k with 9k on the OD. I have to say that of all those cars, the leaf by far drove the best. All the others had an annoyingly detached and non linear method of driving. The leaf was like a fun but slow little go cart. But it was a race car compared to the insight and prius. Im glad that we are moving forward with electrics so i can one day drive a fun economy car.
      Koenigsegg
      • 1 Year Ago
      ugly looking car
      GTR
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was saying this long before electric cars were out. How about one with a dead battery, try selling that POS. The batteries are so expensive. People have no idea. And its not even good for the planet, think about what happens at the end when the battery is no good. What if everyone in the world owned a electric car. Our earth would be even more polluted.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GTR
        Not a single Leaf is out of warranty yet. So any dead battery at this point would be replaced or refurbished with brand new cells. But we've already been there, done that with over a decade of Prius sales. We heard all the same doom and gloom about batteries, and you folks were wrong. So forgive me if I'm dismissive, but you have no clue what you are talking about, and if you haven't gotten a clue after over a decade of cars using huge battery packs, you never will get a clue.
        mycommentemail
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GTR
        I'm pretty sick and tired of wackos suddenly trotting out "concern" for the environment when it comes to bashing technologies they have a partisan dislike for, but never mentioning it under any other circumstances.
        VL00
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GTR
        Batteries get recycled. More polluted than everyone burning gas, get a clue?
          Spec
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VL00
          The recycling systems for some batteries are not set up yet. But when the market gets big enough, it will be. And at least it is possible to recycle batteries . . . when ICE cars emit exhaust, it is spewed into the atmosphere and there is no way to recycle it.
      jebibudala
      • 1 Year Ago
      What do you expect from the worlds ugliest car.
      Miguro Takahashi
      • 1 Year Ago
      Electric cars are still kind of banking on its trendiness more than practicality which is why the well-designed and well-marketed Tesla S blew the competition out of the water. It caters to the crowd that have the patience and money to deal with the relatively new technology by giving them a product that the public eye has been favorable towards. However with the Fisker fiasco, we've learned that design and hype will get you in the air but unless you truly have a well designed product for its price, good luck on not crashing and burning.
        Spec
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Miguro Takahashi
        The Tesla and the Leaf are not exactly competitors. Yes, they are both electric cars but one costs more than twice the price of the other. And it is not 'trendiness'. It is people that do not want to be beholden by gasoline. That can be be for many different reasons . . . foreign wars, high price of gas, oil spills, trade deficit, gas price volatility, climate change, air pollution, etc.
        Majerus
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Miguro Takahashi
        I agree with most of what you said. However the Tesla Model S has not been marketed..
          CarNutMike
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Majerus
          It has not been *advertised*, but they *market* the hell out of it!
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