Electric Vehicles and Hybrids: A Tale of Depreciation


Electric vehicles (EVs) have long been hailed as the future of automotive transportation. However, a recent study by iSeeCars has revealed that EVs are the worst segment at holding their value, with a staggering depreciation rate of 49.1 percent over five years. In contrast, hybrids, sports cars, and trucks fare much better, depreciating only 37 and 35 percent, respectively. This stark contrast raises questions about the long-term viability of EVs in the used car market.

Fueling the Debate

The study conducted by iSeeCars analyzed over 1.1 million vehicles sold from November 2022 to October 2023 to determine their five-year depreciation rates. The findings revealed that not all used cars retain value equally. Trucks and hybrids, with their higher fuel efficiency and lower range anxiety, managed to retain their value better than EVs. The average depreciation rate for all vehicles in 2023 was 38.8 percent, significantly lower than the 49.6 percent recorded in 2019.

Exploring the Factors

One possible explanation for the lower depreciation rates of trucks and hybrids is the consumer appreciation for their combination of fuel efficiency and dependability. With rising fuel prices and increased familiarity with hybrid technology, the market for hybrids has expanded, driving up demand and therefore value retention. On the other hand, EVs, despite their environmental advantages, suffer from higher depreciation due to concerns about battery replacement costs and the need for incentives to sell.

Polar Opposites

The study also highlighted the stark difference between the best and worst vehicles at holding their value. The Porsche 911, known for its timeless appeal, loses a mere 9.3 percent of its value after five years, indicating strong demand in the used car market. Luxury sedans and SUVs, such as the Maserati Quattroporte and BMW 7 Series, depreciate the most, with rates as high as 64.5 percent. This suggests that luxury vehicles are not a wise investment if you plan on rotating into a new vehicle every few years.


While EVs may be the future of the automotive industry, their current depreciation rates cast doubt on their long-term viability in the used car market. Hybrids, on the other hand, have shown significant improvement in value retention, proving their worth to consumers. Ultimately, the decision between an EV, hybrid, or traditional gasoline-powered vehicle will depend on individual preferences, long-term ownership plans, and the evolving market conditions.


Why do electric vehicles depreciate more than hybrids?

Electric vehicles depreciate more than hybrids due to concerns about battery replacement costs, limited technology familiarity, and the need for incentives to sell. These factors contribute to lower consumer confidence in the long-term ownership costs of EVs.

Are trucks a good investment considering their lower depreciation rate?

Trucks, with their higher fuel efficiency and reliability, retain their value better than other vehicle types. However, the investment value of a truck depends on individual needs and preferences. It’s important to consider usage requirements and potential resale value when making a purchasing decision.

Why do luxury sedans and SUVs depreciate faster than mainstream models?

Luxury vehicles typically depreciate faster than mainstream models due to their higher initial cost, expensive maintenance and repairs, and the perception of luxury vehicles being less cost-effective in the long run. Buyers looking to keep their vehicles for a long time should be aware of the higher depreciation rates of luxury sedans and SUVs.

Would it be wise to invest in a sports car considering their low depreciation rates?

Investing in a sports car with a low depreciation rate may be a good option for those who appreciate the thrill of driving and want a vehicle that holds its value well. However, it’s important to consider factors such as maintenance costs, insurance premiums, and personal preferences before making a decision.