Are You Ready For Electric Vehicles?

electric auto insurance

Photo from Roman Boed

Sick to death of unpredictable gas prices and watching rates soar just as you’re about to take a vacation? If so, you’ve probably given thought to the idea of purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid-electric vehicle (HEV). While few can argue against the improved cost implications of buying the right vehicle compared to, say, a gas-powered car or truck, there are still some considerations you should make before moving forward.

 

Charging Stations And Homeowners Insurance

“A new driver of an electric or hybrid vehicle also may need to consider insurance for more than just the car itself; the installation of vehicle charging stations may also affect your homeowners insurance,” Allstate reports, adding that a charging station costs around $2,000 to install properly, but you may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500 to help shoulder the expense.

Still, the company notes, “in at least two states — Oregon and California,” some homeowners and condo owners may be required to carry liability coverage that protects the charging equipment.

Allstate adds: “Even if your state doesn’t require coverage in this circumstance, it may be a good idea to talk to your insurance agent about any homeowners insurance implications of installing a charging station at your home.”

 

Practicality

While the situation will likely change as EVs and HEVs pick up steam and the technology improves, you will have to sacrifice some practicality at present. Why? For starters, there just aren’t as many public charging stations as gas stations, and finding one pretty much requires an Internet search and special planning. If you travel frequently, the routine could grow tiresome.

Furthermore, many EVs and HEVs can’t go as far on one charge as a gas-powered vehicle can with a full tank. Should you find yourself driving one of these with the same “take it for granted” attitude that persists in traditional cars and trucks, you may end up low on battery with too much distance between yourself and the nearest charging station. That can be inconvenient, embarrassing, and possibly dangerous, depending on where it runs out.

 

Other Costs To Consider

Aside from the addition of a charging station and homeowners insurance, another cost to consider is your electric bill. After all, powering an EV or HEV, while cheap, isn’t free. Any time you hook it up at the house, those additional costs are going to show through on your monthly statement. That’s why you may want to ask around before making the purchase. Check with your utility company to see if they can give you some idea of what to expect based on aggregated information from other homes with charging stations in the area.

Finally, you’ll want to compare that information to what you’re paying in gas costs for your internal combustion engine. If you work from home or don’t do a lot of on-the-job and recreational traveling, then it may be worth it to stay with what you’ve got until the technology becomes cheaper to install and more convenient to access. However, if you look at your current expenses and find that you’re spending too much, then it could very well be worth your while to pursue EV/HEV tech now rather than later.

 

The Good News For EV Adopters

As auto insurance goes, you’ll be in familiar territory with no special requirements belong what is common for an internal combustion vehicle. As with a traditional car, EVs and HEVs are subject to safety features and the track record of the driver. If you have a clean history, then you’ll find coverage comparable and maybe even a little cheaper.

 

In Summary

Gas-powered vehicles aren’t going away any time soon. For the next 10 years (at least), they will continue to be the dominant form of transportation. However, EVs and HEVs will continue to attract eyeballs, and when that happens, some of the issues — like few charging stations — will start to be addressed, making them a more attractive option. Have you considered purchasing an electric or hybrid-electric vehicle? If not, what’s holding you back?

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