Electric vehicle insurance
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Get a great deal on your electric vehicle insurance
Electric vehicles, including battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are fast becoming a popular choice among Kiwis with many environmental, safety and cost-saving benefits.
This looks set to continue with the New Zealand Government's recent “clean car” rebate scheme announcement, which incentivises the ownership of lower emission vehicles like BEVs and PHEVs. This may ultimately make vehicles with higher emission levels more expensive as they may have a fee attached to them1.
This announcement is part of the government's overall plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet targets and commitments in line with advice from the Climate Change Commission.
The Climate Change Commission has recommended that nearly all cars imported by 2035 must be electric vehicles to meet the target of being carbon neutral by 20502.
If you already own a BEV or hybrid/PHEV or you're considering buying one in the future, you might be wondering what this will mean for your insurance? We've got the answers to some of your questions below.
BEV or Hybrid/Plug-in Hybrid - what's the difference?
- BEVs are powered solely by electric batteries, so they must be topped up at a plug-in charging station or at home.
- Electric car batteries have a certain lifespan and can be expensive to replace.
Hybrid and PHEV
- Hybrid vehicles and PHEVs use a combination of batteries and a conventional engine.
- PHEVs can be charged at home or at charging stations, just like BEVs.
- Hybrid vehicles and PHEVs are more efficient and environmentally friendly than pure petrol or diesel vehicles. However, you’ll still need to fill your car up with petrol or diesel.
Why choose an electric car?
- Driving an electric vehicle in New Zealand instead of a petrol or diesel car will cut your CO2 emissions by 80% compared to petrol and diesel vehicles3
- BEVs emit 60% fewer climate-changing emissions over their full life cycle than petrol vehicles4
- Fully electric vehicles may be cheaper to run with less maintenance required as they have fewer moving parts than non-electric cars5
- Fully electric vehicles make less engine noise which means a quieter ride6
- The network of charging stations across the country is growing. Some local councils offer free parking for EVs, and charging points may be near to the entrance of supermarkets and service stations. Find your local EV charging station.
What's the clean car discount?
The New Zealand Government has agreed to introduce the Clean Car Standard – a Co2 emissions standard for imported new and used light vehicles.
Starting 1 July 2021, the Clean Car Discount will make it cheaper for New Zealanders to switch to a BEV or PHEV.
- If your BEV or PHEV is first registered in New Zealand between 1 July and 31 December 2021, you may be eligible for a rebate.
- Rebates are available to anyone purchasing an eligible BEV or PHEV — up to $8,625 for new and up to $3,450 for used BEVs or PHEVs.
- The rebate applies to all new to New Zealand BEVs or PHEVs, which meet the eligibility criteria including where the purchase price is less than $80,000 (including GST and on-road costs) and the vehicle has a minimum three star safety rating (as published on the Rightcar website).
You can find the eligibility criteria on the NZTA website.
Electric vehicle insurance FAQs
No, you don't need special insurance. Subject to our underwriting criteria, we generally insure electric vehicles under our car insurance policies. One exception is the BMW i3 which we don't insure currently.
We insure various popular electric vehicles from brands like Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, and Volkswagen.
Although we insure petrol hybrid vehicles (hybrids whose motive power is not derived, wholly or partly, from an external source of electricity) they do not qualify for the rebate. Remember to check the eligibility criteria on the NZTA website.
The cost of car insurance can vary as we use a risk-based pricing model. This takes into account things like the type of car you drive, your car's value, and where you live. Read our brief guide to find out more about our car insurance pricing.
Tower's Comprehensive car insurance covers your batteries if they are damaged as part of a sudden and accidental event, fire or theft. There is also limited cover for this under Third Party, Fire and Theft policies. Tower policies don't cover battery failure or wear and tear on normal or electric vehicles. Please read the full details of cover in the Comprehensive and Third Party, Fire and Theft policy wordings.
The links we provide to third-party websites are for your convenience and do not constitute any endorsement or authorisation by us. The information provided on this page is general in nature and is not intended to be professional or legal advice. Tower does not accept any liability for the accuracy or content of information on this website that belongs to third parties or on any third-party website.