The proportion of car insurance enquiries for electric vehicles (EVs) increased by more than two-thirds (69%) in 2020, according to research by MoneySuperMarket.
Data from millions of MoneySuperMarket car insurance enquiries shows that between July and December 2020 around five out of every 1000 enquiries were for EVs (0.54%), up from four (0.37%) between January and June. This represents the sixth successive half-yearly increase and a nearly fourfold rise (284%) on the start of 2018, when only 1 in 1000 enquiries (0.14%) were for EVs.
In London, approximately nine out of every 1000 (0.86%) enquiries were for EVs, the highest proportion in the country. This was up from five out of 1000 (0.54%) in the first six months of the year, a 60% rise and the largest of any region.
The capital is followed by the South East (0.72%) and Scotland (0.57%), with Wales and Northern Ireland having the lowest proportion of enquiries for electric vehicles (both 0.34%). The average premiums for EVs in London were also over £200 higher than anywhere else in the country, suggesting residents may be opting for higher-end electric cars, which can be more costly to insure.
Overall EVs have the lowest average premiums, when compared to petrol and diesel cars. As of the second half of 2020, an EV cost £627.20 on average to insure – nearly £46 cheaper than petrol cars (£673.61) and nearly £60 cheaper than diesel (£682.82). Comparing the volume of enquiries, the most popular EV is the Tesla Model-3, with an average premium of £867.95. Comparatively, the Nissan Leaf, which was the most popular EV until the start of 2019, has an average premium of £421.54.
The quote engine figures show that electric car ownership is still a middle class luxury, with the Tesla being the most desired car. There is a clear London vs Provinces divide as well.
If it was really about saving the planet then a Nissan leaf would do the same job, but as with so much else surrounding car leasing/ownership, it is ultimately about status, not transport. Brokers and car insurance brands need to develop EV products that have rescue, gadget, legal expenses and perhaps things like PAYG ridesharing built into the policy. The customer base can easily afford it.
Fact is, it will be a long time before EVs become mainstream, but those who do take the plunge are far more likely to be two-car households, earning 40-80K a year and have houses with driveways, garages, bikes, gadgets etc. Price isn’t really the issue. Lifestyle insurance as a wrapper, a comfort blanket around possessions and potential financial losses, is arguably the key to success.