Electric vehicle (EV) owners in Saskatchewan could be facing a second hit to their pocketbooks if Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) gets their way.
SGI submitted their latest rate proposals to the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel (SRRP) on Tuesday. If the rates are approved, 81% of EV owners will be paying higher insurance rates on January 21, 2022.
According to the filing, the increase would affect 26 of the 31 EV models currently on the roads in the province. Just 5 models would see a decrease.
In contrast, the rate proposal would have 52% of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles seeing a decrease in their insurance rates.
Jeff Stepan, chief financial officer for SGI said the rate increases for EV owners is because they are more expensive to repair.
“With that [data] we are able to say that [electric] vehicles are more expensive to repair. So in order to ensure fairness for the rest of the vehicles, anybody driving an electric vehicle is going to pay a bit more,” he told CBC News.
This would be the second time in as many months that the government has targeted EV owners. In April it was announced a new annual tax of $150 would be applied to “improve tax fairness”. The government says the money will be used to ensure EV owners contribute to road maintenance and replacement that would otherwise be funded though the provincial fuel tax.
President of the SaskEV Society Jason Cruickshank said the new tax and higher insurance rates are happening at a time when the province should be encouraging EV adoption.
“We’ve heard over and over again from industry and experts, now is not the time to be increasing costs for electric vehicle drivers. It seems like it’s just more costs for EV drivers at a time when we should be going in the opposite direction.”
The public is encouraged to provide feedback on the rate proposals. You can do so in a number of ways:
- Via the SRRP website
- The SRRP Facebook page
- The SRRP Twitter account
- Calling toll free 1-877-368-7075
- Emailing email@example.com, or
- At one of series of public hearings