Electric vehicles, or EVs, run on battery power instead of a traditional internal combustion engine. It means the car doesn’t emit any exhaust (this also makes them silent when in motion).
Electric vehicle batteries, also known as traction batteries, are rechargeable. It can take as little as 30 minutes to charge your car or as long as a few days. It depends on the car and the type of charger you have.
Most major manufacturers put an eight-year warranty on EV batteries, but they usually can last longer than that. The cost to replace batteries ranges wildly, from $5,000 up to $20,000.
‘Electric vehicle’ is an umbrella term used to refer to many subtypes of vehicles. Here are the types of EVs on the market today.
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs)
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs)
It could, but the best way to find out for certain is to apply for a quote. The final cost of a car insurance premium relies on many factors, like the type of electric vehicle and your personal insurance and driving history.
First, there's the fact that the more expensive the car, the more likely it will command pricey insurance premiums. Electric vehicles cost, on average, more than traditional gas-powered ones.
Cost matters because insurance companies keep close tabs on the cost of claims of every car brand and model on the road in Canada, which are catalogued by the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) system. Cars with a higher sticker price often require special parts and specialized labour — especially for electric vehicles.
It isn’t always straightforward, though. For example, a four-door Honda Civic with a gas engine starts at $25,000 in Canada. According to CLEAR data, claims costs for a 2018 Civic are 10% higher than a 2018 Chevrolet Bolt, which starts at $43,147.
The CLEAR database tracks serious repairs, not routine maintenance. In fact, electric cars are often cheaper to maintain than gas-powered cars when it comes to normal wear and tear.
Governments have started providing incentives to reduce EV ownership costs and increase adoption. Insurance companies have followed their lead in turn. Here are the discounts available to Canadian hybrid owners.
The Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles Program (iZEV) is the government of Canada's incentive program for electric vehicle buyers.
It is funded until 2025 and offers discounts at the point of sale to vehicles on the government's list of eligible vehicles. If yours qualifies, you could get:
Discounts are only available to EVs with the manufacturer's suggested retail price of $55,000. If you opt for an upgraded trim, the MSRP cannot exceed $65,000.
Six provinces currently offer incentives for prospective EV and hybrid car owners.
Many insurance companies have yet to add green discounts to their product offerings. Here are some of the discounts currently offered by insurance companies.
|Savings: $1,521 (43%)|
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We ran sample quotes for three different hybrid models to see how they measure up: the Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt, and Hyundai Kona, which represent the best-selling electric vehicles in Canada, according to the number of point-of-sale incentives claimed.
These quotes are based on a male driver who owns his car, lives in Ontario, has a full license and a clean driving record, and drives 10,000 km/year. We ran quotes for different ages because age is an important risk indicator for insurance companies.
They are also the ‘winning quote’ on our site, which is the lowest quote offered to a customer who compares quotes on our site. Without comparing, you could pay more.
Compared to the Ontario average of $1,744 (according to the RATESDOTCA Insuramap), premiums for these particular models of electric vehicles are, on average, 22% cheaper beginning at age 30 (drivers in their teens and twenties are surcharged on insurance regardless of the vehicle).
However, your mileage may vary since these are based on a clean driving and insurance history. Being at fault in a collision will adversely affect your rate as this vehicle class costs more than average to repair.
|Age||2023 Tesla Model 3||2023 Chevrolet Bolt LT 5 Dr||2023 Hyundai Kona|
Rates can vary a lot by insurance company. Each one uses slightly different criteria to calculate your insurance rate. For example, InsuranceHotline.com data showed an average $922 difference between an Ontario driver's lowest and highest quote. Comparing insurance companies before you buy a policy can translate into hundreds of dollars in savings.
Insurers are increasingly offering discounts to electric vehicle owners. After comparing quotes, our algorithm might automatically match you with a company with a discount program for electric vehicles. If not, you'll want to speak with an insurance professional, like a broker, about whether the reductions you could get from an insurance company that offers discounts outweigh going with the company offering your lowest rate through our quote comparison service.
Some electric vehicle models are built with lighter bodies to improve their mileage. However, this makes them prone to more physical damage. It can be costly to repair a hybrid car, as it requires specialized parts and labour, both of which have been in short supply since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Researching car models using the Canadian Loss Experience Automobile Rating (CLEAR) data can provide some insight into claims costs for a specific hybrid model. Also worthwhile could be contrasting CLEAR results with safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Researching repair costs can help narrow down the candidates. Getting a quote for each one before you buy will also help you prepare financially for car ownership.
Allow your insurer to monitor your driving habits, and they will reward you with a reduced rate, sometimes as much as 25% off the original price.
You can save anywhere from 5 to 15% off each policy when you bundle your home and car insurance under the same insurance provider.
The surefire way to keep your insurance costs low is to practice safe driving and to limit making claims.