Plug-in vehicle drivers are probably less likely to get cited for shredding rubber or doing 80 in a 50 zone and, apparently, insurance companies are taking note.

Drivers of vehicles like the Nissan Leaf battery electric and Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in hybrid pay, on average, lower insurance premiums than their conventional-vehicle counterparts, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Companies like Hartford Insurance have started offering a five percent discount for U.S. electric vehicle drivers, apparently taking into account statistics that show that these drivers tend not to speed or rear-end other folks, the publication reported.

Of course, there are some insurance companies that charge more to insure plug-ins because of their higher price tag, compared to gas-powered vehicles of a similar class. Still, on average, EV drivers appear to be paying less. Specifically, a typical Leaf driver pays about 15 percent less than a driver of a Nissan Maxima, whose base price is about 15 percent less than the Leaf's.





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  • 27 Comments
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Pure EVs will probably rarely be stolen since the thieves can get more than 100 miles away. And how are they going to charge it?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        To give a serious answer - many car thieves have chop shops nearby. I would 'imagine' that the batteries might be fairly valuable, along with other parts. The GM clones used to be very popular to steal, as they would be chopped up, with parts being able to be used in 5 different cars (or more). I had a car broken into in Tampa, but something much have scared the thief off. The police had told me that there was a chop shop in the area that they had not found yet (just the chopped up remnants), and that my car probably would have been cut apart fairly quickly.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        5 miles away, they can throw it on a tow dolly pulled by a pickup.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      With apologies due to the non-working tips system I will repeat an OT post I made yesterday here: 'We have the figures for French sales of electric vehicles for the first 3 months of 2012, and they are pretty bad, although commercial vehicles - the Kangoo ZE - are a bit better. I can't reconcile the gross sales figure they give of 1,594 with the breakdown they give, but any way you look at it they are bad. http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/auto-transport/actu/0202071813133-le-marche-francais-du-vehicule-electrique-cale-au-demarrage-325635.php Breakdown: http://www.lesechos.fr/medias/2012/05/22/325635_0202073384308_web.jpg The breakdown figures are: Ion (Peugeot version of Mitsubishi) 96 Bluecar ( the one used for the Paris autolib, so that would be almost all sales) 982 Mia 189 Kangoo 649 Twizy (surprise hit!) 935 Since most of these were corporate sales, probably including the Kangoo, the little Twizy aside it basically means that French private customers are not buying electric, although of course the one which is expected to be the best seller, the Zoe, is not out yet. As is pointed out here, the French Government was expecting electric sales of 100,000 this year. It ain't gonna happen. http://blogs.lesechos.fr/dominique-seux/le-flop-de-la-voiture-electrique-a10665.html The depressing thing is that France is ideal for electric vehicles, with shorter average journeys, a supportive Government, and cheap surplus nuclear power overnight. There is a lot riding on the launch of the Zoe.'
        Ele Truk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        Hard to believe, but I guess the French are used to paying $8 a gallon for petrol (they tend to use diesel and not gas). Maybe they will have to see $10 a gallon before they start buying EVs?
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          The main expense on a car is still depreciation. You can buy a cheap diesel and get great mileage, and diesel fuel is cheaper than petrol in France. There is no question that these French figures are disappointing. If not France, then where?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        The will never hat tip you for the tip anyway.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Translation from the French is a free service I provide! ;-)
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        I think most of the French people don't have the money to buy an EV. Those with the money aren't going to buy one. They also have much better public transportation options. So cars are often heavily used for weekend get-aways. And EVs suck for that duty.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Hmm, researching that has led me to some pretty deep papers. Heavy reading, I warn: http://revel.unice.fr/eriep/index.html?id=3338 http://revel.unice.fr/eriep/index.html?id=3354 http://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/68/09/87/PDF/Electromobilite_FinancePublique_Leurent-Windisch_Atec2012_GB.pdf the bottom line is that the middle classes in France as in most of Europe are being squeezed by increasing income inequality, and buyers of new cars let alone premium cars are ever thinner on the ground. Broadly the average price of new cars in France in around 2007 was about 16,000 Euros plus VAT, about $20,000 or $24,000 including VAT.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of all the plug-in cars only the volt and prius plug-in make sense. At least you can drive from key-west to alaska without problems, we can't say that from tesla, imiev, leaf, focus ev. We can also drive that same road with a honda clarity if they fit an hydrogen electrolyzer to that car.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        And how many times do people drive from Key West to Alaska? *rolls eyes*
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          The one guy drove his Volt from NYC to Arizona... And I saw a half-dozen Volt driving between LA and SF the last time I made the run.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        And how many hydrogen stations are there between key west and Alaska?
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Oh, so you believe in perpetual motion machines? Got it, nevermind then.
          goodoldgorr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I've written " if they install a hydrogen electrolyzer into the car " .
        Ele Truk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        You don't buy an EV for long trips, they are commuter cars. The average American drives 40 miles or less each day. If you are looking for a primary car, then yes a plug-in hybrid is the better choice. However if you already have a car (or two) and are tired of throwing money to the oil companies, then by all means look into EVs as an alternative, especially if you have a regular daily commute to work.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Insurance companies, mean spirited and hateful that they are, figure rates on math. If they see a lower number of claims, they cut rates. If higher, they raise rates. I know I know, they are evil, so why cut rates? Well, simple., they want the business, because they will pay fewer claims. Fifty percent of nothin is nothin! You can bet they are watching the Fisker closely....
        Ele Truk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        I use Farmers insurance, and they gave me an alternative fuel discount 5 years ago when I bought my Ford Ranger EV. 5 years ago they didn't really have any statistics on EVs, so they offered the discount as a policy and not based on numbers, which is one of the reasons I continue to use them.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          Interesting! Thanks for that. I would be curious if it was simply a 'nice thing to do', maybe for marketing purposes, or maybe on potential distance driven. How did you like the Ranger?
          Ele Truk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ele Truk
          I love it, and still am driving it daily.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      It would be nice to know the demographics of the owners; many factors play into lower insurance rates. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that EV owners are more highly-educated, better-paid, live in safer neighborhoods (with garages instead of on-street parking), and are generally a little older, with multiple cars insured by the same company.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        @LTW You are, (as usual) quite correct. Now that the Volt and Leaf have been out long enough to provide actuarial figures, the favourable factors have proved to offset the higher cost of bodywork repairs .
        Yespage
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        This applied to Hybrids a few years ago. The demographic of the driver/owner is probably what is driving the discount.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Letstakeawalk
        "I wouldn't be surprised to find out that EV owners are more highly-educated, better-paid, live in safer neighborhoods (with garages instead of on-street parking), and are generally a little older, with multiple cars insured by the same company." Exactly right. All of these drive premium discounts.
      MTN RANGER
      • 2 Years Ago
      For my Volt, insurance went up about $50 (about 10%) for the full year and I have high coverage (300/300). I think it was mostly due to my previous car being a 2002 Lexus IS300.
      Kevin Gregerson
      • 2 Years Ago
      The electric vehicle driver is an enthusiast, thoughtful of driving without paying tons of money in doing so. They are more likely to be fit, they love the drive, and they are likely to be paying more attention to the road.
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