What to Know About Buying (and Charging) an Electric Car

Top Tips for Purchasing and Charing your Electric Vehicle

So, you want to buy an electric car, but naturally you have some questions. While electric does seem to be the way of the future, it certainly differs from using traditional gas-powered vehicles. You may be curious about charging an electric vehicle (EV), how many kilometres of range are in each charge, and if purchasing an electric vehicle is even worth it. 

Not to mention, you may be wondering what you need to know about electric car insurance.

The team at Morison Insurance compiled this blog post to give you a better idea of the benefits and drawbacks of buying an EV. Also, you can find our professional insight into insuring an electric car by reading below. If at any time you have questions while reading this blog, feel free to reach out to one of our licensed insurance brokers. We're always happy to chat.

Benefits of Buying an Electric Car

One of the most common benefits of buying an electric car that may come to mind is the reduced environmental impact, as electric vehicles don't burn fossil fuels—unlike a conventional vehicle. Yet, there are many more advantages of making the switch from gas to electric.

No Gas

If you buy a vehicle that doesn't burn fossil fuels, that means you aren't paying for gas. This means you can start ignoring fluctuating gas prices, and feel good about yourself for limiting fossil fuel consumption. Perhaps one of the best benefits is that you'll save a lot of money on gas. According to a 2017 report completed by Statistics Canada, Canadian households spent, on average, $2,142 on gasoline and other fuels—and that was just for private transportation alone. 

Although electricity is not free either, it costs just a fraction of that amount to charge an electric vehicle. This means you save substantially throughout your electric vehicle's lifetime. That money could be put toward your retirement investments, planning your next holiday, or helping pay for your child's wedding—the options are truly endless.

Speedy But Silent

While you may find the roar of a gas-powered engine appealing, there is something to be said for the speed and silence of driving an electric car. Not only are electric vehicles significantly quieter than their traditional counterparts, but they also offer a much smoother driving experience. This quiet ride is ideal for trips home from the grandparents where your little ones may fall asleep in the back, or simply to reduce noise pollution in Ontario cities. Imagine how quiet your neighbourhood would be if everyone drove electric vehicles?

Environmentally Friendly 

Naturally, this is one of the top benefits that comes to mind when thinking of electric cars. They are much more environmentally friendly than vehicles with combustion engines and go a long way toward reducing pollution. Since electric vehicles run on electricity, they're 100% emission-free. Without an exhaust system, these vehicles aren't emitting harmful greenhouse gases into the environment. This reduces your personal carbon footprint and contributes to making the world a greener place.

Low Maintenance

Vehicles with combustion engines require a lot of maintenance. While this may be enjoyable for some car enthusiasts, for the average Ontario car owner, oil-changes, fluid top-ups, filter changes and all the other maintenance that goes along with owning a gas-powered car are a hassle. Not to mention, an additional expense. Electric vehicles don't ever need an oil change, since they run on electrically powered engines that don't need to be lubricated. Not only do you save time by having fewer trips to your local mechanic, but you also save money by avoiding these regular tune-ups.

Drawbacks of Buying an Electric Vehicle

Likely, after hearing about the numerous benefits offered by electric vehicles, you're feeling pretty convinced. However, it's impossible to make an educated decision without also exploring the disadvantages of choosing an electric motor.

Limited Driving Range

One of the main drawbacks of purchasing an electric vehicle is the limited driving range. While different models have different ranges, most mid-range electric cars can only drive around 200 to 400 kilometres on a single charge. While this may not be an issue in the city, particularly where charging stations are more common, you might experience a bit of "range anxiety" while travelling in the countryside. This is especially the case if you plan on embarking on a long road-trip to visit relatives on the West Coast. 

Higher Cost

As is often the case, with greater long-term savings comes more short-term spending. Although an electric vehicle is a fantastic investment that will help you save money down the road by avoiding paying for gas, the upfront costs are considerably more. 

Most electric vehicles are priced at around $40,000—for comparatively inexpensive models. Luxury vehicles, like the Tesla S Model, can cost up to $150,000. Meanwhile, gasoline vehicles that are brand-new tend to have a lower price point. For instance, a Honda Civic would run you roughly $25,000. That said, if splurging on a more costly vehicle is in your budget, why not choose an electric powered car, as opposed to a gas-guzzling SUV? 

Charging an Electric Car

While we're sure you've spent what felt like forever filling up your car in subzero temperatures, realistically topping up your gas tank isn't a very long process. However, recharging an electric car battery is another story. Most electric vehicle engines can run approximately 200 to 400 kilometres on a single charge. However, they take between 40 minutes and 20 hours to charge fully. This is a significant time investment—usually, drivers charge their vehicles overnight. Some office building parkades also offer an on-site charging station, so you could charge your vehicle while at work. The key difference here is that there is no "quick top-up," when it comes to using an electric vehicle, so your driving time requires more planning than with combustion-engine vehicles.

Limited Choice

Electric vehicles aren't exactly new, but there is far less choice than when it comes to gas-powered vehicles. There are currently 44 different types of electric vehicles available in Canada, which includes hybrid vehicles. While more choice is likely to come in the future as electric vehicles gain more traction, for the moment consumers have to be content with limited choice. 

Costly Battery Replacement

Many electric vehicles come with a warranty, so if the rechargeable battery is damaged or does not function properly it can be replaced at no additional cost to you. However, if your warranty is expired or you did not purchase a warranty, the cost to replace an electric car's battery can run you as much as $20,000. This is essentially the cost of an entire gas-powered vehicle, or half of a new electric vehicle.

What to Know About Insuring an Electric Car

Perhaps you've decided to take the plunge and invest in an electric car, and now you're wondering what you need to know about auto insurance for your new vehicle. When it comes to Ontario home insurance and electric car insurance, our pro team at Morison Insurance truly are the experts. Our hardworking brokers have years of experience providing outstanding service and finding the best coverage for all our clients. While if you're ready to shop around for insurance we invite you to give our team a call, we're also happy to provide answers to a few commonly asked questions in this blog post. 

Is it Harder to Insure an Electric Vehicle?

Not at all! In fact, most insurance companies offer coverage for electric vehicles, and our brokers have the experience to help you find the right coverage plan for your needs. 

Will Purchasing an Electric Vehicle Lower My Insurance Premiums?

Much like how insurance premiums for a standard, gas-powered vehicle vary depending on the make and model of your car (along with a range of other factors), the same is true for electric vehicles. While the options for electric cars may be more limited than for vehicles with combustion engines, there are still many different types and brands available, from small compact cars to SUVs. Thus, what type of electric car you choose is going to impact your premium.

Do Insurance Providers Offer Discounts for Electric Vehicles?

Yes, certain insurers offer discounts for drivers who opt to go electric. Your Morison Insurance broker can discuss in more detail what car insurance discounts you may or may not be applicable for. Aside from discounts related to electric vehicles, many insurers offer loyalty and claims-free discounts to reward cautious drivers.

How Much Does Electric Car Insurance Cost?

How much your electric vehicle costs depends largely on a range of factors. While you can see some common electric car cost ranges on our electric car insurance page, keep in mind that rates are not set in stone as all drivers have different needs, wants and claims histories that can alter what your unique coverage will cost.

Influencing Factors:

As mentioned earlier, there are many different factors that can impact your insurance premiums. We've outlined a few of these here:

  • Annual mileage. Did you know how far you drive can impact your insurance premiums? The rationale is that the further you have to drive each day, the higher chance there is you could be in a collision. If you're working from home these days, be sure to let your insurance broker know—as you're not commuting as much.
  • Where you park the vehicle (on the street vs. in a garage). Parking on the street increases the chance of a drive-by accident, or that your vehicle may be broken into. Thus, it's more likely that your insurance premiums could be higher if you have to park on the street, instead of in a garage.
  • Driving record. One of the biggest factors that influences your driving record, if you have numerous speeding tickets or other infractions, you will pay higher premiums. Why? Because your track record illustrates that you're more likely to be in a collision.
  • Auto claims history. When you make a claim, it’s possible your insurance premium may go up if you’re at fault. This may not be the case if you’re not at fault or have an accident waiver policy.
  • Your age (drivers under 25 pay more). Generally, newer drivers are still learning the ways of the road. Thus, it's more likely they may be involved in a collision. This is why age is considered a factor in establishing your insurance premiums.
  • Vehicle’s safety features. Vehicles that offer safety features are designed to reduce the risk of being in a collision. Thus, purchasing a car with certain safety features may help lower your premiums. 
  • Optional coverages you choose. Generally, the more add-ons or endorsements you choose increase your electric car insurance costs. However, they also offer more protection in the event of an accident or other perils. 
  • Deductibles. Talk to your broker to see if increasing your deductibles results in decreasing your insurance premiums.

Where Can I Get Electric Car Insurance?

If you're ready to start shopping around for electric car insurance, trust the experts at Morison Insurance. Our family-owned business has years of experience working with Ontario drivers to find the best insurance policy possible for your unique needs. We go above and beyond for our customers daily, and it shows through our loyal clients and dedication to providing outstanding service. 

In 2020, we were awarded by Insurance Business Canada as the Top Insurance Workplace. This award recognizes companies in the insurance industry that provide a truly outstanding workplace environment. How we treat our team is how we treat our customers: With the utmost respect, care and authenticity. We truly care about our clients' happiness, and are in the business of building long-term relationships with all our customers. We want to be the go-to brokers you choose not only now, but as your life changes, your family grows, and your needs differ down the road.

If you're ready to get started today, we invite you to give our friendly team a call at 1-800-463-8074. Alternatively, you can request a quote online to learn more information.

This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. All information posted is merely for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Should you decide to act upon any information in this article, you do so at your own risk. While the information on this website has been verified to the best of our abilities, we cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.

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