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First electric Jag unveiled as experts divided over electric vehicle depreciation

The first-ever electric Jaguar was revealed this week as experts warned of a growing divide over the values of used electric vehicles.

The new model, called the I-Pace, is a five-door SUV scheduled to go on sale towards the end of 2018 at prices starting from around £55,000. It has two electric motors that are powered by batteries that can be recharged in around two hours. Fully charged, it has a maximum range of 310 miles.

However, as the car was being unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show, a top used car expert warned of a growing divide in the UK for used EVs, with models capable of travelling up to 400 miles on a single charge being much more popular than those doing less.

Philip Nothard, a specialist at CAP HPI, a vehicle information company, said, ‘In the UK market it is clear there remains an “apprehension” on the part of used car buyers around electric vehicles. Range anxiety – or how far an EV can travel on a single charge – continues to be a big hurdle, along with charging network coverage. And while longer-range models are on the horizon, for many owners an EV is unsuitable as the primary family vehicle.’

Nothard said EVs with a range of around 100 miles cause buyers the greatest concern. But while government grants worth £4500 per vehicle, plus generous manufacturer-funded finance offers, make new EVs more attractive and help allay their fears, no similar support exists for used models.

In order to attract buyers, such cars have to be very cheap. As a result, the difference between what they cost new and what they sell for on the used market means that some used EVs with ranges of around 100 miles are among the UK’s worst depreciating cars.

According to CAP HPI, the UK’s three fastest-depreciating cars are EVs. At three years and 30,000 miles old, the worst performer is the Nissan Leaf Visia. It is worth just 16% of what it cost to buy new. Only slightly better at 18% are the Renault Zoe iExpression Nav and Peugeot Ion. The Citroen C-Zero is worth 19% of its new price.

At the other extreme, the UK’s slowest depreciator is the Range Rover Sport 2.0 SD4 HSE. It is worth 67% of its new price.

Meanwhile, Nothard said those models capable of travelling over 300 miles can, in depreciation terms, fare as well as conventionally powered used cars. He singled out the Tesla Model S for praise.

‘Depending on the version, the Teslsa Model S can travel over 400 miles on a full charge, a range that gives owners the confidence to use the car, and which is reflected in much lower depreciation and strong used prices,’ he said. With its range of 310 miles, the Jaguar I-Pace is, at least for the moment, on the right side of the range divide but production versions may need to be capable of doing much more if they are to enjoy similar success.

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