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High insurance premiums slowing down electric car sales

25 May 2015 03:45 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
Insurance premiums on electric cars in Sri Lanka are significantly higher than those of traditional vehicles, owing to spare parts non availability and other technological issues.  
Sources told Mirror Business that premiums are around 40-50 percent higher for Nissan Leafs, which form 93 percent of the electric car market in Sri Lanka.
The general unavailability of car batteries has caused the high premiums, and a fluctuation has been seen between different insurance service providers due to different policies in valuing the vehicles.  This has led to some consumers not purchasing the environmentally-friendly electric cars.  The interim budget in January reduced taxes on electric cars to just 5 percent with the hope of promoting environmental sustainability, while increasing taxes on hybrids, citing that the benefit from hybrids is mainly for the customer and not the environment. Since the introduction of electric vehicles in October 2013, 152 cars were registered until March 2015, which doubled to 298 with 146 registrations in April. Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka is also attempting to drive the purchase of electric cars by setting the consumer’s mind at ease, as he has set an ambitious goal of having 1 million electric cars in the country in the coming few years.The government recently launched its first quick-recharge centre, and the ministry is attempting to pass an energy policy which reduces tariffs during off-peak hours. 
This will take the load off the main power generators and promote efficiency while providing cheaper recharges for electricity vehicles.
The Richard Peiris Group has entered the foray early, with a recharge centre already established at the Arpico Supercentre at Hyde Park Corner, with an intention of expanding rapidly.
Meanwhile, a local electric super car is in the making by Codegen, with a plan to design commuter models in the next 2 years.
 
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