When you drive an electric or hybrid vehicle you’re certainly doing your part in protecting and perhaps even advocating for a better environmental future for all of us. Hats off to you! It’s certainly the “green” thing to do, and it’s an added bonus that it will save you money at the gas station.
You can take advantage of rebate programs in Canada and you’ll spend less at the pump, but you might not enjoy the same savings on your car insurance (yet).
But we think it’s just a matter of time.
It’s estimated that a hybrid vehicle will cost approximately 20% more than a standard vehicle. For some drivers, this is enough of a deterrent as the fuel savings may not be enough to offset the cost.
What makes hybrid vehicles more fuel-efficient?
- Hybrid cars work on a combination of electricity and gasoline and produce less emissions than conventional vehicles.
- Hybrid car technology leverages kinetic energy while braking and transfers this energy back to the battery. This both extends the life of the battery and gives you better fuel economy.
- Hybrids weigh less than their counterparts as they are built with lightweight materials and the engines are typically smaller in size. These engines are designed light and highly efficient.
Am I entitled to a discount on my insurance?
As hybrid and electric vehicles become more common, it’s likely that more insurance companies may begin to offer discounts. It’s a good idea to talk to your broker to find out if there are any discounts you can possibly take advantage of right now, since it will be up to those individual companies to offer them.
The hope is that, similar to how the winter tire discount became a popular incentive, a hybrid/electric vehicle could follow suit.
Your insurance could be slightly more
When shopping for car insurance for your hybrid vehicle, you may find that insurance premiums may be either the same or slightly more expensive. That’s because the newer technology inside hybrid vehicles themselves are often more expensive to buy and repair.
You can expect that price to go down as more people buy them and mass production drives down the cost per vehicle in time, though.
One of the main components of a hybrid car is the battery, which is also the most expensive component that’s easily susceptible to damage in the case of a collision. This costly repair or replacement could influence your insurance rates.
Fuel savings help a lot
Aside from reducing our carbon footprints, buying electric cars also offer serious fuel savings. While buying electricity to power the car isn’t strictly free, it comes much cheaper than traditional fuel.
For example, an electric vehicle or hybrid could save you $700 or more in fuel per year if your commute is about 50 minutes one way (11,000-12,000 km annually). That’s $7,000 saved over 10 years, which isn’t too shabby. You can calculate potential EV fuel savings here.
It’s up to you to decide if the fuel savings will outweigh or balance out with the cost of the electric vehicle itself, but there is also a federal rebate program for those buying new models.
Rebates could add even more savings
As a resident of Canada, you might be eligible for a rebate under the Zero-Emission Vehicles Program (iZEV), which could offset higher sticker prices or higher insurance rates. The program started on May 1, 2019, so only purchases on or after that date would qualify. Used electric cars don’t appear eligible, unfortunately.
You could get $5,000 back for purchasing an electric vehicle under $45,000. These are the eligible vehicles:
- BMW i3 Base s
- Chevrolet Bolt
- Ford Focus Electric
- Honda Clarity Plugin Base Touring
- Hyundai Ioniq Electric
- Hyundai Kona Electric
- Kia Niro Electric
- Kia Soul Electric
- Mini Cooper 3 Door SE
- Mitsubishi i-MiEV ES
- Nissan Leaf
- smart EQ fortwo cabriolet
- smart EQ fortwo coupe
- smart fortwo electrice drive cabriolet
- smart fortwoelectric drive coupe
- Tesla Model 3 Standard Range (and Standard Range Plus)
- Volkswagon e-Golf
Alternatively, you might be able to claim $2,500 in rebates for purchasing a hybrid-electric plug-in vehicle. This is the list of eligible vehicles:
- Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron
- BMW i3 Range Extender s
- Chevrolet Volt
- Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
- Ford Fusion Energi
- Honda Clarity PHEV
- Hyundai Ioniq electric Plus
- Hyundai Ioniq PHEV
- Hyundai Sonata PHEV
- Kia Niro PHEV
- Kia Optima PHEV
- Mini Cooper S E Countryman
- Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
- Subaru Crosstrek PHEV
- Toyota Prius Prime
The Federal Government updates the list of eligible vehicles periodically. Check it out to see if you can get a rebate!
Weighing rebates and fuel savings
While insurance discounts for electric and hybrid vehicles aren’t quite here yet, you can still save money through the federal rebate program and through annual fuel savings. Combined, they could add up to more than $10,000 over time.
Talk to your broker about getting low rates for your electric or hybrid vehicle. Compare the rates you’re given with the savings in fuel and potential rebates to see if it helps you come out ahead financially.
Want to compare hybrid, electric, and regular vehicles on your policy? See the difference with a 3-minute quote right here.