Beware! Falling gasoline prices are hitting the residual values of used hybrids and electrics -- hard. The influx of used small cars set to return to the market over the next few years is going to make matters worse.
Kelley Blue Book projects the collective residual value of 2016 hybrid and electric vehicles sold in January and February to be 29.5 percent after 36 months. That is 4.1 percentage points lower than the 36-month residual projection it set for similar vehicles sold a year earlier.
Low gasoline prices played a big role in trimming those values, said Eric Ibara, director of residual values at Kelley Blue Book. In 2012 -- when the average price of gasoline nationwide was $3.60 a gallon, according to AAA's website -- KBB projected that gasoline prices five years out would be in the range of $3.50-$4 a gallon, Ibara said.
KBB's current prediction puts gasoline in the $2-$3 a gallon range in five years, he added.