Electric Cars Cheaper to Insure Than Gasoline Cars

Nissan's November US Sales Rise 13 Precent

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The countless working parts inside an internal combustion engine call for repairs electric vehicle owners may never encounter, but a new study says the lower cost of EV ownership is greatly helped by cheaper insurance. CoverHound Insurance released the results of its study that had insurance for EVs falling well below that of equivalent gasoline cars in most cases. Going further, Cover Hound laid out how the cost of ownership of smaller electric cars is lower than that of Corolla and Elantra.

Nissan Leaf: 16% cheaper than Altima

Cover Hound’s study showed a 28% difference in the costs of insuring a Chevy Volt ($1,452) versus a Cadillac CTS ($2,024) for a year. Granted, the Cadillac has a much higher sticker price and would require more expensive repairs, but a look at the Nissan Leaf (the best-selling EV on the market) shows the trend holding across the board. The Nissan Leaf costs an average of $1,513 top insure for the year, which is nearly $300 cheaper to insure than an Altima, which costs an average of $1,801 per year.

After the federal rebate, the MSRP of the Leaf ($21,510) actually undercuts the MSRP of the base Altima ($22,300). Cover Hound found that the lower insurance costs could be tied to a perception that electric vehicle drivers are more responsible and the fact fewer repairs are necessary. There are instances where an EV is more expensive to insure, as in the case of a move (a giant leap, really) from the Ford F-150 to the Chevy Volt. Insuring a Volt would cost $200 more than the F-150 on an annual basis.

Lower cost of EV ownership

Along with insurance and upfront costs, Cover Hound looked into cost of ownership as part of its study. As Ecomento has pointed out, electric vehicles have far fewer parts than need servicing than gasoline-powered cars. EV owners will never have problems with the alternator, clutch, radiator, fuel pumps, spark plugs, or belts. They aren’t part of an electric powertrain.

BRITAIN-JAPAN-ECONOMY-BUSINESS-AUTO-NISSAN

AFP/Getty Images

While electric vehicles aren’t exactly ceiling fans on wheels, they don’t have the multitude of parts gasoline engines need to propel a car down the road. That means trips to the mechanic are far more scarce in an EV, even if the average cost of repairs will be higher because of the specialized service the technology requires.

This EV cost advantage is amplified by the obvious fuel savings, which in a fully electric car is 100% over its gasoline equivalent, or thousands of dollars every year. Cover Hound examined fuel costs, depreciation, taxes, maintenance, and rebates involved with owning a Volt or Leaf, and they proved to be cheaper to own over a four-year period than the Toyota Corolla and Hyundai Elantra.

After range anxiety, cost of ownership has been the bugaboo for electric vehicle adoption. (It continues to be for anyone who covets a Tesla Model S.) However, auto consumers choosing practicality and a lower carbon footprint no longer have to settle for compact gasoline cars. Electric vehicles have become cheaper from every angle.

More from Autos Cheat Sheet: