Electric vehicle devaluation will only get worse with time

Electric cars (Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports)
Electric cars (Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports) /

The electric vehicle craze is the newest must-have technology. Yes, move over smartphones, computers, and televisions. There is a new way to spend a lot of money on electronics only to see it become archaic and drastically devalued within a model or two.

Electric vehicles are already known for not holding value, and that was before the rest of the automotive industry started heavily investing in new technology and competing to offer customers more choices and cheaper alternatives.

Electronics quickly become worthless

Twenty or so years ago, the early tech adopters were rushing to spend thousands of dollars, upwards of $15,000, on a brand new, ultramodern, 42-inch plasma flat-screen television. People went to electronic stores to gawk at these incredibly slim, crystal-clear devices that would forever change how we watched TV. During a recent trip to Costco, I saw gigantic 75-inch, nano-technology, super flat screens for around $1,000 to $1,500.

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You may have experienced the must-have feeling with the latest smartphone. People would line up for hours, even overnight, to get the latest device. Within months, a newer model would date it immediately because it would have some design change, camera improvement, or technology upgrades.

Electric vehicles are the new smartphone

The smartphone dilemma is what the electronic vehicle realm most closely matches. I realized this when both Car and Driver and Motor Trend published their first drive articles of Hyundai Ioniq 5. Of course, both publications mention the king of the EV space, Tesla, early in the report.

But what was unexpected was how Ioniq 5 has beat out the Porsche Taycan, Audi E-Tron GT, and Lucid Air for charging speed and capabilities. Those cars cost at least double what Hyundai’s entry does. You can bet those luxury car companies will be hearing it from their customers. Especially when the junior staff leave work and the c-suite executives are still waiting for their fancy cars to charge.


Along with all the other players in the space, those car companies will be taking a long hard look at the Ioniq’s systems. They will task their engineers to match if not beat what Hyundai has done. Guess what? They will. Every few months, a new EV will have its first drive. Automotive magazines will write about how the latest model beat out the competition with charging time, range, horsepower, or hundreds of other categories.

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EVs are considerably more expensive than phones, TVs, and computers. So you may want to sit this early adopter race out for a few years or purchase a used EV for a third of the price. If you don’t believe me, ask the guy still watching a twenty-year-old plasma TV.