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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
One of the arguments we hear frequently is that big improvements in PHEVs (and some EVs) will make current models less valuable and lead to rapid depreciation. Excluding autonomous driving (which is yet to be realized but is clearly a huge leap forward), what big improvements could justify this rapid loss of value?

If the Volt could do 80 or 100 miles on a charge, I do not see that changing much in terms of value to owners (but going from the Prius Prime's 21 to the Volt's 53 miles was a vast improvement that justified trading up).

Adaptive cruise control is valuable to many commuters but I do not see it as a game-changer that would lead owners to abandon older Volts for a more modern EVs.

Larger rear seats, bigger storage areas, and better rear visibility might be valuable to some but they would likely never have bought a Volt in the first place.

My Volt has blind spot and rear cross vehicle warnings which are valuable but I see lane-changing warnings, auto braking, and automatic parking as less than valuable additions. Very few people would trade in their Volts to get these features.

For EVs, it is clear that very fast charging (15 minutes or less) is important and getting to 300-600 miles on a charge would be great. But these features are for people who regularly drive long distances. For most commuters, 53 miles and a 110v/240v connection in the garage for overnight changing is quite acceptable.

IMHO, the following Volt features will never go out of style no matter how much people say that future EVs will improve (I therefore see little reason why the Volt should depreciate [apart from the recent cancellation of the Volt by GM] more quickly than other EV, PHEV, or ICE cars).

1) Almost 300 ft. pounds of torque that goes from 0-30 in 2.2 seconds silently and smoothly with a .83 skid pad rating (fun to drive)
2) Never requires gas in normal local driving
3) Can be used on out-of-town trips with no "range anxiety" and extra planning to stop at roadside chargers
4) Gets 42 MPG when the battery's charge is depleted

Perhaps decreased costs due to cheaper battery technology might motivate buyers to get newer EVs/PHEVs (and therefore not buy older, used ones) and that could justify more rapid depreciation but I have not seen EVs getting substantially cheaper for this reason so far.
 

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When I acquired my 2018 Premium, I expected game-changing technology developments to occur during my 3-years. Better, and less expensive batteries, much faster charging, vastly increased competition (fueled by individual brand implementation if such technologies), etc, are all expected over the next 3-years.

In that type of marketplace, one would naturally expect some impact on trade-in values.

Ken
 

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The 2019 Volt is the last and of course the most recent model year with some improvements. The gas engine and electrical power train remain the same. There is a 7.2 KWH charging rate standard on the Premier and $750.00 option on the LT model which is a step up for quicker charging at many place where you can plug in for free while shopping etc.

I would have to believe that if GM stood with the Volt the Gen 3 Volt model would have had a 75 mile electric range, and the gas engine would have been replaced or modified for 45+ mpg rating when running on just gas.

The Volt is the only true electric plug in car that one can buy today. When running on electric you can floor the Volt and the gas engine will never kick in until the electric charge is depleted. All the other "so called electric plug in's" the gas engine will kick in.

Here in Oregon along with the current, soon to expire I believe Fed. Tax Credit ($7,500) there is an Oregon Rebate for a new Volt of
$2,500. If one qualifies for the Fed Credit and now thats $10,000 off the best price you can get on a Volt.

Now with depriciation one in Oregon can buy a new 2018 Volt LT at a dealer for under $30,000, less $10,000 your now in a Civic and Corolla price range at the $20,000 range or even less. Now show me one car with as much technology as the Volt for that price.

So any new car depiciation would be far less with the Volt than many other vehicles including the Civic and Corolla.
 

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I never considered "depreciation" when I bought my 2017 Volt Premier. I was more taken with the available State and Federal incentives and that was the deal maker for me. I now have over 20,000 trouble free miles and my average mpg is 62 and I am very pleased with that. I may end up keeping my Volt longer than hoped because I know I am going to get killed when it comes time to sell or trade it. It's a good thing that it has turned out to be the most enjoyable car I have ever owned and as many other Volt owners have said...it's GM's best kept secret. Too bad that GM didn't recognize that.
 

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It seems to me that a viable plan for the Volt would have been a series of structured updates, each of which add battery range, increase charging rates to match the infrastructure, increase interior volume, and diminish reliance on the ICE , until it became an electric vehicle (no ICE).

Such a plan could have maintained its attractiveness for range concerns, while always maintaining its position as THE electric vehicle of choice while the available charger network develops.

That approach doesn’t solve the deprecation question completely, but it does provide a level of isolation.


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Perhaps the #1 benefit of the Volt is the zero range anxiety that comes with the gas engine. We do fairly frequent trips over 200 miles and if not for the gas engine, we would not be able to enjoy the freedom the Volt provides. I long for a pure EV that can deliver at least 300 miles under any weather conditions AND have FAST charging capabilities.
 

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EVs, with the possible exception of Tesla, have always had horrendous depreciation... Great if you are buying used, however...
 

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The depreciation on EV's like the Volt only seems greater than normal. It's actually not. The problem is, most people use the before tax credit price of the car as the starting point for depreciation comparisons, rather than the after tax credit cost. In other words, the depreciation horror stories count the $7500 tax credit as "depreciation" when it's actually a discount on the purchase price.

The used car market simply discounts the car price by the $7500. That's not depreciation.
 

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That's a great point....BUT how many people want to buy "used" batteries? Now, when the day comes that one can easily and affordably slap in a new battery, THEN they may hold their value much better than ICE vehicles.
To some extent, Tesla's appear to hold their value pretty well, and I wonder if that is due to their ability to continuously "upgrade" older vehicles with OTA updates? Even so, I'm still not sure I would consider a used Tesla if I knew I would be faced with battery replacement at today's costs. Someday maybe replacement costs will drop considerably and then it will truly be a new ballgame.
 

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GM never seemed to have its heart in the Volt other than after the first launch which made the Press. Hardly any ads about the
Volt even though it the only 100% true electric plugin car out there. The Honda Clarity, the only Volt rival, is not a true plug in 100% electric. Take both out to the track with a full charge in each car. Slam the accelerator pedal to the floor and see which vehicle kicks in the onboard gasoline engine, the answer is the Honda Clarity, not the Volt.

I am 68 years old and drove the first time with my Dad in his 58 VW Bug, manual tranny of course, and I was 10 years old. I have never been more saddened about a car model being cut than when I heard GM pulling the plug on the Volt.

Our 2014 Volt and later, which we traded for our current 2016 Volt, are the only 2 new US made cars my wife and I have purchased in our lifetime.

The other day I took a trip fishing down the Oregon Coast for Steelhead Trout via Highway 101 to the Tillamook Oregon area.

Here is the result from the Volt dash from that drive with cool weather conditions, not optium by any means. How many cars can do that???
20181227_173504.jpg
 

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All vehicles depreciate because they are depreciating assets. One thing that affects EVs, though, is that used cars tend to be valued based on all possible discounts and incentives. That means all new EVs roll off the lot losing $12,000+ in value (even if you can't take full advantage of the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit and aren't in a state with the $5,000 EV credit).

The fact that used Bolt EVs are still selling for $25,000+ indicates that they've hardly depreciated at all. Similarly, other long-range, low-compromise EVs such as Tesla vehicles experience far less depreciation than normal when considering the EV credits.

PHEVs and short-range EVs, on the other hand, do seem to depreciate a bit more, but that is more than likely due to lower demand in the used market. In the case of vehicles like the BMW i3, I think it is simply that the vehicle was severely overpriced at the dealership, and the used car market illustrates that (many of the i3s I've seen have suffered 60-70% depreciation).

Ultimately, I think we concern ourselves too much with depreciation. The only thing that matters is the value that the vehicle provides to you. For anyone who drives 50 miles or less a day, I think the Volt is perfectly good option that insulates you both from volatile gasoline prices and a public charging infrastructure that is still a work in progress. If it works for you today, it will likely still work for you five years from now.
 

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Yes the battery costs are high but we don't know how long they will last. Most people think it will only last as long as their iPhone lithium battery. I think the equally and perhaps bigger question is when will some electronic item necessary for the running on battery last and how long will it/they be available?
 
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