Forecasts of secondhand values for electric vehicles (EVs) are moving closer to traditional diesel cars as the used car market becomes more accustomed to the technology they contain, according to the self-styled “trade bible” Glass’s.

In some cases, residual value (RV) forecasts are already broadly similar to their diesel equivalent, explained Rupert Pontin, head of valuations.

He said: “The residual value gold standard for EVs is the Tesla Model S. Its minimum 220-mile range means that its three-year/60,000 mile value is around 43% – almost exactly the same as a well-established direct competitor, the BMW M535D M Sport.”

According to Glass’s, elsewhere in the market, EV values are also closing the gap on diesels. The Vauxhall Ampera Electron’s 27.58% at three-year/60,000 miles is not far adrift of the Insignia SRI CDTi’s 34.56%, while the BMW i3 extender Suite at 39.11% is just a few points away from the BMW 320d Sport’s 43.46%.

“Clearly, there is still a difference here between EVs and diesels but there are signs that it is closing all the time. Crucially, when the overall running costs of an EV are taken into account, factors such as savings on fuel mean that they may beat traditional models,” added Pontin.

He concluded that it was likely that EV RVs would continue to close the gap on diesels as used car retailers and buyers became more familiar with the technology. Critically, the battery power improving will mean a better real world driving range.

He said: “EVs of one kind or another currently account for about 2% of the market. However, if the UK is to meet its 2020 emissions target of 95g/km per vehicle, their penetration must increase quite rapidly. As this happens and they become a more familiar part of our daily lives, we expect EV RVs to firm up and stabilise.”