Electric and hybrid performance cars are underperforming in Australian-market resale values across a variety of segments, particularly those at the upper-end of the market where traditional petrol V8 grunt is most clearly dominating newfangled battery power.
With the first electric and hybrid performance cars now tallying three years old – the resale benchmark for new vehicles – values expert Redbook has given its verdict on how the likes of the BMW i8, Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid and Tesla Model S P85D are performing compared with their internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents; all with circa-35,000km.
And the news isn’t good for lovers of the environment.
BMW’s futuristically styled i8 cost $299,000 when new three years ago, but according to the values expert it has retained less than half its purchase price – just $145,500 when sold privately, or a staggeringly low $128,700 for a trade-in.
The scissor-door 1.5-litre turbo three-cylinder/electric motor supercar claims to slurp 2.1L/100km and emit 49g/km of CO2, which promises significant fuel savings for buyers.
However, Audi’s previous-generation R8 asked $308,010 when new in 2015, and Redbook tells that it will still fetch $176,900 privately or $159,700 in a trade.
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Despite costing only $9000 more than the i8 when new, the 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8-engined manual supercar has kept up to $31,400 more in its coffers compared with the BMW. And that’s a lot of money to be saved to fill a model rated at 14.4L/100km and 337g/km of CO2…
Do premium buyers care more about performance than economy? You could say that, except the new-for-2015 i8 claims a 4.4-second 0-100km/h compared with 4.8sec for a generation of R8 that came out in 2007 and was, by then, in the last year of its lifecycle.
But this resale trend continues in Porsche showrooms, too.
A 2015 Panamera S E-Hybrid asked $285,300 new, with its 3.0-litre blown V6 and electric motor spurring it to 100km/h in 5.5sec while using 3.1L/100km and emitting 71g/km of CO2.
But privately it will now have kept just $126,600 – and if you’re planning a trade-in, expect to have retained just 40 per cent of the original price at $114,200 according to the Redbook.
Let’s compare the pair, shall we? A 2015 Panamera GTS needed $320,100 new, or $35K more than the hybrid, with its 4.8-litre naturally aspirated V8 soaring to deliver 4.4sec 0-100km/h performance, gulping 10.7L/100km and spitting out 249g/km of CO2.
Yet now it will still return $193,700 privately or $174,700 on the dealer trade-in yard – that’s up to $67K more than its battery equipped sibling, a saving of $32K in total after the greater up-front cost has been taken into consideration. Again, that’s a lot of money on 98RON.
Meanwhile the darling of the electric brigade, a 2015 Tesla Model S P85D, gets closest to matching its performance-ICE equivalent. New? $181,500. Sale three years on? $115,400 private, $103,800 trade-in, with 64 per cent and 57 per cent retained respectively.
The 3.3sec 0-100km/h electric liftback will outgun a 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 S and the 4sec claim from its mighty 375kW 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine. The AMG started life as a $154,900 proposition, though, saving a buyer $25K over the Tesla.
Now it will return $97,100 privately and $85,500 trade, reducing the gap to $18K at today’s values. So essentially a C63 S buyer has had $7K extra to spend on premium unleaded in three years.
As manufacturers increasingly switch to using electricity in premium/performance cars, they might need to accept that cubic capacity inside a cylinder count still holds greater value in the buyers’ minds – and after three years it leaves them with plenty to spend at the bowser.