When the cost of a plug-in vehicle is mentioned, it mostly refers to the purchasing and maintenance expenses. Sometimes, tax reductions given to electric vehicles (EVs) are taken into account, but the insurance cost is rarely discussed. This is somewhat strange, since the insurance on a conventionally fuelled car accounts for roughly one quarter of its fixed cost of ownership. So, what happens to this cost when switching from a conventional car to an EV?
Most of the information available on this topic comes from the US, Canada, and the UK. The UK even boasts a website, 'PlugInSure', devoted to just this topic. That said, not even in the pioneering region of California are all insurance companies ready to serve EV owners. Some companies do not offer insurance policies for EVs at all, while others only want to insure an EV as a second car of the family. However, in the latter case, the rates are lower than for an equivalent conventional fuel car. This corresponds with the general trend: most insurance policies for EVs — but not all — are cheaper than those for equivalent conventional cars.
In some countries, including Canada, electric Low Speed Vehicle (LSVs) are not required to meet the same safety standards — such as having air bags and anchored seatbelts — as regular vehicles. Yet in Vancouver, the insurance for LSV cars is level with that of conventional cars.
According to netQuote, a discount is sometimes given because electric car owners convey a solid, dependable image to insurance companies. I wonder how that criterion will evolve when EVs become a mass product.
Along with the other various factors (age, driving record, etc.) used by insurers to establish their insurance premiums, the cost of repair in case of an accident is an important argument taken into account by insurance companies. This cost is likely to decrease when EVs are sold, maintained, and repaired by millions.Log in to post comments