Electric vehicles (EVs) still make up a tiny portion of the South African auto market, but this is about to change as global interest in electric vehicles grows and the government accelerates plans to create a local industry. flourishing electric vehicles.
In South Africa, it is estimated that there are only 1,500 electric vehicles on our roads, with high prices and a lack of charging infrastructure remaining major inhibitors to the adoption of this technology. But the government has bold plans to boost the sale of new energy vehicles and create a vibrant manufacturing industry for electric vehicles and their components, which could see the country rapidly pivot towards electrifying private and public transport vehicles. .
It’s part of a global electric vehicle boom, which last week saw rental car giant Hertz order 100,000 Teslas to electrify its rental fleet. In the UK, the government has announced a ban on the sale of all gasoline and diesel vehicles after 2030, which will see more than 6.5 million consumers ready to buy electric vehicles in the short term. Japan now has more EV charging points (40,000) than gas stations (35,000).
But how will buying an electric car affect your insurance? Wynand van Vuuren, customer experience partner at King Price Insurance, says there are two areas to watch: the price of the vehicle and the need to ensure that the home charging infrastructure is compliant.
“If you own an electric vehicle, your insurance experience will be similar to that of a conventional vehicle. You’ll probably pay a little more to insure an EV, as it’s more expensive than your average vehicle, and they cost more to repair than conventional cars. But standard factors like your age, claim history and where you live will always be the primary determinants of your personal risk, ”says Van Vuuren.
Likewise, the risk of electric vehicle theft might decrease, especially early in the adoption of electric vehicles, as they will be both difficult to steal and to dispose of.
The biggest change would be if you choose to install charging equipment in your home. This type of equipment will need to be professionally installed and connected to the building’s electrical network, and will need to be noted on your policy schedule to ensure issues such as power surges are covered.
“This will have an impact on your building insurance, and you should preferably discuss this with your insurer or broker before installing charging equipment in a residence,” says Van Vuuren.
The main trend in the insurance industry is that models of mobility – and the way we own cars – are changing, says Van Vuuren. People can increasingly move around without their own car, especially if they live in urban areas. At the same time, younger generations just don’t see cars as status symbols the same way older generations do – they see them as a way to get from A to B.
“There is no doubt that electric vehicles will become a way of life in South Africa sooner than we think. But ultimately, changing ownership patterns will have a bigger impact on the insurance industry than electric vehicles, ”says Van Vuuren.