Driving green vehicles offers more benefits besides helping the environment; they can also help you save money. And no we don’t mean driving vehicles that are the colour green we mean vehicles that use alternative methods to gas consumption. So how do they help save you money? First, they lower your fuel costs, and secondly, they can lower the cost of your car insurance. Not only can you be proud for doing your part for the planet – you can save money too!

 

What is a green vehicle?

Green vehicles are either hybrids or ‘deep greens’. A hybrid car has an electric engine running alongside the conventional petrol\diesel motor such as the Chevrolet Volt or the Toyota Prius. Deep green vehicles, such as Tesla model cars, are wholly powered by electric motors and use no fuel. More and more vehicles are hitting the market that fall into the green vehicle category. Solar powered cars are also being developed to see if they would make feasible alternative to fuel consuming cars.

Solar Powered Vehicle

How can green vehicles save you money on insurance?

Insurance premiums for driving green vehicles vary, for the most part. If you start on par with the premiums of non-green cars and compare that to a hybrid or deep green vehicle you will find the premium is lower. In many cases, the insurance providers are offering discounts of between 5 and 10 percent to the owner of a hybrid or electric vehicle in Ontario as a way to promote driving vehicles that are better for the environment. On top of that the actual rating factors that most companies use to determine your premium generally score better because they are safer, more reliable vehicles.

Since the purchase price of these green vehicles is higher than the conventional gas-guzzler, how can the insurance be lower? Insurance is based on statistics, and so far the stats suggest little difference in the cost of claims for green vehicles vs regular vehicles. Although the vehicle itself is more expensive, and the repairs are slightly higher in price, overall, the frequency in which they are involved in accidents is lower so in this category the premiums remain on par.

Green vehicles are generally smaller, and also less powerful which helps to keep them safer. The technology is getting more sophisticated and manufacturers are able to build more powerful models; but drivers of these cars know that hybrids achieve better fuel economy at low, constant speeds, and the batteries of both hybrids and deep greens can have a longer lifespan as a result of these low speeds. Overall, the result is a safer ride.

 

Where can green vehicles fuel up?

hybrid fuel stations

Photo by plugshare.com

 

Earlier this year, the Ontario government announced in a press release that it is working with 24 public and private sector partners to build 500 electric vehicle -charging stations at more than 250 locations across the province.

Officials in the press release said that a shift to low and zero-emission vehicles is vital to the fight against climate change, and Ontario has a target to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to 80% below the levels of 1990 by the year 2050.

The province’s $20 million investment will include a network of charging stations that will be fast, reliable and affordable.  In essence, you can plug your car in while you enjoy a cup of java at your local Tim Horton’s. The vast majority of electric car charging happens at home or at work, however, public charging stations allow people to top up while they go about their daily routine and support longer road trips for those venturing out across the province.

The network of charging stations will be added to the Ontario 511 interactive map, and the stations will be posted on the Ontario Open Data Cataloque. In addition, PlugShare is a wiki-based map and App of charging stations across North America – of course, there is an app for that!

It is getting easier and easier to get into a green vehicle. If you already own or are in the market for a green car, you should always shop around for green car insurance quotes, and read the fine print – ensure your policy fits your needs.