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Elon Musk highlights Tesla Model S value retention

Despite their rather monstrous price tags, Tesla’s vehicles have found a reasonable audience over the past decade, thanks to their high-efficiency, sporty specifications and looks; and that green factor, that makes people feel good about themselves for being responsible with their energy usage. Apparently though they’re also a good investment, as company founder Elon Musk has been highlighting lately.

Although his Twitter might be mostly reserved for posting images of Space X rocket launches and landing attempts, he took some time out to show that compared with other electric vehicles, Tesla’s Model S, depreciates less than all of them.

Using data from the National Automobile Dealers Association, Musk pitted a 2012 Tesla Model S against the likes of the Toyota RAV4 EV, a Ford Focus Electric, a Chevrolet Volt, a Nissan Leaf and a Mistubishi i-MieV. While admittedly the Model S is the most expensive of the bunch, with a suggested retail price of $88,550, over three years it depreciated the list, maintaining a 57.2 value retention.

Related: Tesla will sell 500,000 cars annually thanks to a Model 3-based compact crossover

In comparison, the much cheaper RAV4 EV had retained only 47.6 per cent of its value. The worst of the bunch, the Mitsubishi, lost almost 80 percent of its value over the three years.

While these statistics are interesting because they highlight that Tesla vehicles are a good buy for those that don’t want to lose too much in their car purchase, it’s also worth noting that clearly there’s no intrinsic value in a plug-in electric car. As with traditional gasoline powered vehicles, it’s the make and model that have the biggest impact.

In the case of Tesla, demand is still higher than supply, so dipping into the used car market is a viable option for those able to afford such a vehicle — keeping the resale prices higher. In contrast, the current lower price of fuel may be the reason that some of the other EV vehicles are seeing such large drops in value over the three year period.