Car insurance is perhaps our most grudge inducing purchase but we can’t deny it gives us peace of mind.
Drivers of electric vehicles in South Africa however are surely feeling that grudge more than us. Not only is it tough finding quotes online, when you do eventually find a quote it’s often higher than premiums on a traditional motor vehicle.
This is not unique to South Africa and there is a good reason for why premiums are higher – there isn’t enough data about them yet.
“In the absence of data, insurers globally have tended to default to higher premiums. South Africa has proved no exception in this regard,” explains insurance expert at Old Mutual Insure, Christelle Colman.
However, despite this lack of data right now, in future we may see EVs fetching a lower insurance premium than their fossil fuel powered counterparts.
As Colman explains, EVs don’t have a clutch or alternator or fuel pumps and such fewer things can go wrong. While right now access to parts and labour may be lacking compared to traditional cars, this is set to change as EVs become more entrenched in our landscape.
What about theft?
Over the last year 83 000 incidents of motor vehicle theft took place in South Africa and it does beg the question – are EVs a target for criminals?
Much like the premiums, it’s tricky to say yes or no.
“We are also not sure about how likely, or unlikely, EVs are to be stolen or whether they will present a different theft or malicious damage risk from other vehicles,” explains Colman.
At the moment charging stations are located in high-density areas which means theft is unlikely but not impossible. However, as infrastructure becomes more widespread you may find folks leaving their cars unattended to charge overnight in a far flung town in the Free State.
This may lead to theft or the EV being damaged but once again, that’s a prediction and we have no way of knowing what will happen in the future.
Old Mutual Insure expects the number of EVs in South Africa to increase dramatically in the coming years and as they become more commonplace the cost of insurance is set to decrease.
Make no mistake, South Africa does have interests in greener transport. The Department of Transport’s Green Transport Strategy 2018-2050 aims to reduce emissions in the transport sector by five percent by 2050.
Cheaper insurance will be great but ultimately, widespread access to parts, charging infrastructure and labour will make owning an EV a much more enjoyable experience.[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]