Electric cars and auto insurance rates

EVs are likely to have lower auto insurance premiums than gas vehicles.

Business leaders announced this week that they have formed an "Electrification Coalition" to set ambitious goals for electric vehicle adoption, but auto insurance for EVs has yet to be discussed.

Auto insurance premiums are dependent on data that is both driver- and car-specific. With only a few electric vehicle models on the road today, actuarial data for electric cars is hard to come by - explaining the lack of information on insuring EVs.

But a few innate EV features suggest that they will cost less to insure than today's cars. Electric vehicles are range-limited, for one thing, so it's likely that EV drivers will drive fewer miles and decrease their accident risk.

In addition, electric vehicles will have advanced safety technology, lowering the risk of driver injury.

The only concern - which the University of California studied recently - is that electric cars will be too quiet, potentially endangering blind and partially sighted people. In the UC study, participants were blindfolded and asked when they heard gas and electric vehicles passing at 5 mph. The gas cars were audible 3 seconds before they drove by, but the electric cars were not heard until they had passed.

The European Union has proposed electric vehicle noisemakers to lower accident risk and keep auto insurance rates low.

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Posted: November 17, 2009

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