Many used EVs going for less than gas counterparts

Today, you can get the Volt for an average price of just $10,500, which is now only $650 more than the Cruze model.

If it's not on your radar already, one industry trend will be soon as the stats become increasingly hard to ignore. That is, electric vehicles' alarming depreciation rates.

According to new data and insight from Black Book, EVs continue to face much heavier depreciation rates than their gas counterparts. In some instances, consumers can shell out up to $20,000 more for a new electric version of a vehicle than they would for the sister gas model.

That said, three years down the road, Black Book pointed out, EVs could easily be priced $900 below their gas counterparts, showing rapid declines in price.

"On several of today's popular EV vehicles, the depreciation curve is very steep, largely driven by lack of consumer demand preferences for fuel-efficient models with current price of gas," said Anil Goyal, vice president of automotive valuation and analytics for Black Book, and a speaker at the upcoming Used Car Week conferences,  "Smaller cars have experienced heavier depreciation over the last 12-18 months, but it's clear that the small mainstream electric vehicles are experiencing even heavier valuation drops."

Black Book took a look at the prices of the new Nissan Leaf versus the Nissan Versa; a Mitsubishi i-MiEV versus the Mitsubishi Lancer; Ford Focus Electric versus the Ford Focus; and a Chevrolet Volt versus Chevrolet Cruze.

The company found the EV premium over a gasoline model for mainstream brands has "pretty much disappeared" for used vehicles from an average premium of $16,600 for new vehicles.

In fact, the company found in a couple of cases, a used electric model now costs less than their used gasoline counterpart or close to it.

Take these models for example:

In 2012, the Leaf SV 4D hatchback was going for $36,380, touting a $20,287 premium over its gasoline counterpart. These days, you can get the same electric vehicle for $7,400, $900 less than the used gasoline model goes for.

Depreciation for the i-MiEV ES 4D Hatchback is even more alarming. The EV model went for $29,125 new in 2012, with a $19,887 premium over the gas model. Now, that same EV model is going for an average of $5,350, which is $3,100 less than what the gasoline model goes for these days.

Black Book also pointed out the Volt 4D Hatchback shows similar trends. Back in 2012, the EV model went for $40,431 MSRP, which was $17,060 more than the Cruze LT 4D sedan. Today, you can get the Volt for an average price of just $10,500, which is now only $650 more than the Cruze model.

This trend is coming up often in industry conversation - from a variety of angles. Though depreciation among EV vehicles may be a large pain point for those shoppers that bought them new, the used models could be a very good sell for the budget-conscious environment-minded shoppers looking for a long-term vehicle.

In a recent blog post from Yahoo Autos, author Steven Lang points out EVs are experiencing a "colossal loss of market value."

And the luxury models aren't immune to the surprising depreciation. According to the blog post, the 2013 Tesla Model S Performance is currently going for $74,000 and is forecasted to lose 28.9 percent of its value by July 2016, ending with a pricetag of $52,600.

EV prices are low, and are expected to get lower - proving a good buy for those customers looking for a long-term vehicle with no plans to trade-in - considering, if residuals continue down the same trajectory, many of these EVs might be looking at a 50-percent or more decline in value over the next couple of years.