Electric vehicles are trending, and there are a few reasons why this is the case. These are one type of alternative fuel vehicle, which can affect insurance rates.
You may have heard President Joe Biden say, “The future of the auto industry is electric.” His administration is readying generous tax credits for buying electric vehicles.
According to recent research, most Americans are interested in electric cars, and the percentage of electric cars on the road is expected to continue to rise. Check out the myriad of benefits of going electric with your ride, and find out how it affects your car insurance.
Hybrids vs. Electric Vehicles
There is a difference between fully electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. You should consider the differences when choosing between these two options.
Hybrids can operate on battery power for up to 50 miles and then transition to fuel. These hybrid vehicles can last up to 400 to 500 miles when combining electricity and fuel. This is similar to the range for vehicles that run solely on fuel.
Some hybrid vehicles can charge themselves using the battery, while others must be plugged in to charge the battery. The amount of time needed to charge the battery varies among models.
Fully electric vehicles operate solely on battery power to an electric motor and must be recharged at least every few days. These fully electric vehicles may only go about 200 miles before they need to be charged.
This requires additional planning for longer trips because it can take two to 12 hours to fully charge most vehicles. For a longer trip, you would also need to find a charging station, which may be a challenge in some areas.
Drivers will want to consider factors such as how much they drive, their daily commute, the availability of charging stations, and the costs associated with the purchase of an electric vehicle. An electric vehicle can be more expensive to purchase but has some long-term financial benefits after purchase.
Benefits of Electric Vehicles
There are environmental, financial, and convenience benefits of driving electric vehicles. There are also some cool and fun features that come along with electric vehicles.
Environmental Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Fully electric and hybrid vehicles have a few environmental benefits. They cause less carbon emissions and produce no tailpipe emissions. Tailpipe emissions are a cause of air pollutants that can cause respiratory issues and smog.
Financial Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Many people consider electric vehicles because of the financial benefits. They may cost more to purchase but come with rebates, fees, and regular expenses that are less over the life of the vehicle, which results in long-term savings.
Some electric and hybrid vehicles come with rebates for purchase. These rebates can be offered by states or local cities. You will want to research your area to see what rebates might be available.
Cars that rely on fuel require regular fill-ups with gasoline or diesel fuel. Fully electric vehicles do not need gas, so this cuts back on this regular expense.
Some electric vehicles come with a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. There are also some additional state, city, or local tax credits in some areas. It’s important to check with the current IRS information and your accountant for updated tax credit details.
Electric vehicles typically need less maintenance because they have fewer parts that require fluid or fuel changes. Registration fees also tend to be cheaper for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Convenience Benefits of Electric Vehicles
Having a car that requires less maintenance is not only a financial benefit, but it is also more convenient. You will spend less time waiting around at the dealership or an auto service or repair shop. There is no need to get fuel weekly, which can save five to 10 minutes each time you would normally fill up.
Some cities and states require regular emissions testing when a car is being registered or every few years. Electric vehicles don’t need these emissions tests like other vehicles.
Charging at home is convenient if you have a charging station installed in your home. There are many charging stations across the U.S., including apartment complexes, grocery stores, and colleges.
Owners of electric vehicles say they are fun to drive. Electric vehicles are also much quieter than vehicles that rely on fuel. Many drivers say they are also smooth driving and have instant power.
The features available on eco-friendly vehicles are improving as automobile brands continue to improve technology. These innovations can make electric vehicles more convenient, safe, and fun to drive.
What are the disadvantages of an electric car?
While electric vehicles have a number of benefits, there are also some disadvantages to owning this type of vehicle. Electric vehicles may not be as convenient, depending on how much you drive, where you live, the weather where you live, and how much time is needed to charge the battery.
An electric vehicle may not be convenient for those that have a long commute unless there is a charging station at the office. Cold weather or extreme heat can affect the range of an electric vehicle.
If you live in a condo or apartment complex without a charging station or only have access to street parking, you wouldn’t have a convenient place to charge your vehicle. While fueling up a car takes about five to 10 minutes, the charging of a battery can take hours.
This could easily be done if you have convenient access to a charging station, but it can be a hindrance if you don’t have easy access to charging stations.
How Electric Vehicles Affect Insurance Rates
The average cost to insure an alternative fuel vehicle is $118 monthly. Your insurance rates will be affected based on factors like your age, driving history, and where you live. These rates are similar to vehicles that rely on gasoline for fuel.
It is important to compare quotes to get the best deal. As alternative fuel vehicles become more common, insurance rates may decrease. You may also choose to add additional coverage to your standard policy, which would also increase your premium.
Types of Electric Vehicles Available
There are models of cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs that have electric options. You will find many different makes and models, from economy to luxury vehicles.
The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular options and is available as a hybrid or fully electric model. Many popular car brands that are favorites among collectors offer electric vehicles, such as Acura, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Tesla, and Toyota.
Are you considering a switch to an electric vehicle?
There are benefits and drawbacks of owning an electric vehicle, so it’s important to consider your budget, how you will use the vehicle, and how long you want to own the vehicle. You should do your research before plugging into an electric vehicle.
Melissa Morris writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsurance.org. She is a college professor and enjoys writing about alternative fuel vehicles in her spare time.
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