Residual value forecasts for alternative fuelled vehicles (AFVs) have closed the gap on their petrol and diesel equivalents, Glass’s has said.

Looking at an Audi A3, Glass’s said a hybrid E-tron Sportsback, 2015 model, retained 65.42% of its value after one year and 12,000 miles, and 51.46% after three years and 36,000 miles. This was below the petrol model from 2014 (which held its values at 73.82% and 58.02% over the same respective periods), but was actually superior to the 2014 diesel equivalent.

According to Rupert Pontin, director of valuations at Glass’s, there have been a number of reasons for the improving situation. One is that the range of electric cars has improved, for example Renault’s Zoe can now go 150 miles on a single charge.

He added: "Things continue to move fast, in part due to the government who are still supporting sales with financial incentives of up to £4500 per car. In addition to the Go Ultra Low campaign that helps buyers understand the advantages of AFVs, new car dealers now make specific efforts to train their staff appropriately so they are able to qualify a customer’s needs and sell them the right car."

Pontin did note some challenges remained, including the fact that the trade market for AFVs remained very poor. "Vendors struggle to find homes for the numbers of cars, albeit low, coming back to the market and there is still a low level of comprehension of this type of vehicle in the used market."

While range may have improved in electric vehicles, Pontin noted that anxieties around the topic remained, and added that the national infrastructure remained below the required level to provide functional and technologically consistent charging facilities for those on the move.

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Pontin concluded: "The future is becoming clearer with some truly usable electric vehicles and some genuinely good hybrid options for today’s driver. It will be fascinating to see the speed with which the market adopts this new propulsion type and even more interesting to consider how it will lead to the development of autonomous vehicles and new ownership models in the years to come.