Slow-Depreciating AssetsI remember when the second-generation Toyota Prius got really popular, probably around 2005-2006. Supply was lower than demand and there were very few used ones on the market, so you if you wanted to sell yours, you could almost get more for it than what a brand new one sold for. Today, it looks like a similar thing is starting to happen with the Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt. They aren't quite selling like hotcakes yet, probably partly because its still early days for mainstream EVs and PHEVs, partly because the economy isn't going well and people are pushing back big purchases, and partly because supply and availability are just now ramping up.
the average trade-in value for a typically equipped 2011 Leaf SV electric car at $23,975 -- 95 percent of its sticker price of $25,280, after the $7,500 federal tax credit available to buyers who purchase the vehicle new.
The projected trade-in value of the 2011 Volt, which runs on electricity and gasoline, was said to be $29,325, or 90 percent of its $32,780 sticker price for June, after the $7,500 federal tax credit.
This compares very favorably with a typically equipped 2011 Honda Civic Hybrid, which has a "projected trade-in value of 76 percent of its sticker price, and a 2011 Toyota Prius has a projected trade-in value of 88 percent of its sticker price". Most non-hybrid models have an even lower used-market value after one year on the road...
This could change over time as more used LEAFs and Volts come to market, but it's still a good indicator. People will only pay up for things they really want and trust.