The all-new 2018 Nissan Leaf, driven


If these devalue like the previous generation, I should be able to pick one of these up in 2021 or 2022 for less than 10k.


Yes, and I am unsurprised. I’ve just suggested to a relative that they not buy previous generation cheap, because there is no way to uprate the batteries and the range is hopeless in the UK.

At the moment buying any EV is basically helping fund the industry without adding any real value to the environment. If that’s what you want to do, go ahead. But with the lack of infrastructure unless you live in, and travel to, a very limited number of places, unless you solely want a commuter you are paying a lot for little utility. And if you solely want a short run commuter, like my neighbour, you can buy a small Euro 6 Nissan with low fuel consumption and be confident that it will still have a good resale value in a few years.

There’s a big difference between EVs now and the first reliable-ish cars. For instance, someone who bought a first gen proper Rolls Royce in 1908 had a car that was already good for 70mph and had a very practical range. It could incorporate improvements in tyres, brake shoes and so on and because of the nut and bolt design it was possible to make incremental improvements as time went on. That chassis was still being used in WW1.
For many years after that cars could be re-engined, tuned for more power or greater efficiency, bigger fuel tanks could be fitted for special purposes, better seats could be fitted and for more upmarket designs someone would even put a new body on your chassis.
Modern designs are so integrated that if you buy an EV now you are not going to be able to upgrade it at all, which means in even 3 years it is going to have poor range and lack features compared to new models. The rate of obsolescence is very high.
As someone with environmental leanings this is where I think governments should have had a Manhattan Project for vehicles and not let individual companies pursue different routes. But…that’s late stage capitalism.
In the meantime I choose not to play.