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How to buy an electric car

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How to identify if a vehicle is green?

Our guide to buying an electric car

Environmentally-friendly cars are finally getting the attention they deserve today as many Australians shift from conventional vehicles that use fossil fuels towards green cars. Buying a green car has many benefits for the environment and for your wallet.

As we all know, cars make a huge contribution to air pollution in the city. They produce a lot of air pollutant emissions such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and hydrocarbons which can all be harmful to the environment and to our health. Additionally, oil prices are skyrocketing, so shifting to a green car seems like the ideal choice to make today.

If you’re in the market for a new or used car that is environmentally-friendly, here is your quick guide to buying a green car in Australia:

What is an electric car?

A green car is an environmentally-friendly vehicle that produces low or no carbon dioxide, meaning it has the lowest possible footprint on the environment. There are a variety of green vehicles with different energy sources. There are electric cars, solar cars, hydrogen cars, and hybrid cars. In Australia, hybrid and electric vehicles are the top popular choices for a green car.

An electric car is powered by recharging the battery. This means that there is no fuel tank or exhaust pipe in the vehicle. It’s best to recharge the electric vehicle by charging it from a power grid or a solar panel.

Another type of green car that is a popular choice in Australia is a hybrid car. This type of vehicle is powered by the combination of an electric engine and a petrol engine. It switches between electric and petrol to maximise energy efficiency. Unlike the electric car, the hybrid vehicle doesn’t need to be plugged in to charge the battery, instead the petrol engine charges the batteries itself.

How to identify if a vehicle is green?

The Australian government, using its Australian Design Rules, identifies if a vehicle is green and publishes its findings in a green vehicle guide. It has a system rating where it assesses the vehicle’s environmental impact. It measures the car’s emissions, external noise level, fuel and energy consumption, and the air pollution standard. It ranks cars by tailpipe C02 emissions. The highest ranked cars have the lowest C02 emissions and the lowest carbon footprint.

This information should be reported on the vehicle, usually on the windscreen. It should include the result for fuel consumption (combined, urban and extra-urban) and tailpipe C02 emissions, an estimate of fuel life cycle, C02 emissions, annual fuel costs, and also stationary noise. This can help consumers make a more informed decision about the impact of a green car on the environment and the cost of owning the vehicle.

What are the benefits of driving an electric vehicle?

Owning a green vehicle has a number of benefits. Here are some of them:

  • It is better for your health: Greenhouse emissions come from vehicles that use petrol. These have adverse impacts on our health that can cause cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, and cancer. Driving a green car can help lessen our emissions and clean up our air while getting us from A to B.
  • It helps clean up our environment: As mentioned, cars produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Green cars emit less harmful gasses than conventional cars. This means that you can move around in a more sustainable way.
  • It is not solely dependent on petroleum: It’s expected that petrol and diesel prices it will increase in the coming years. With a green car, you are not fully dependent on petrol. If you drive a hybrid car, it also uses less fuel than regular vehicles so you can save money.
  • It can save you money in the long run: An eco-friendly car can initially cost more than a regular vehicle. However, the return on investment can be seen instantly because green cars are easier to maintain, they use less fuel or no fuel at all, and stamp duty is reduced.

Hybrid Cars Available in Australia

Here are just some of the top choices for a hybrid car that is available in Australia today:

Toyota Corolla One of the most popular hybrid cars available in Australia is the Toyota Corolla. It has a combined tailpipe C02 of 96 and an estimated annual fuel cost of $827. It can run 100km on 4.1L of petrol.

Mitsubishi Outlander If you want to drive an SUV, this is a good choice. It has a combined tailpipe C02 emission of 41 and an estimated annual fuel cost of $581. This Hybrid SUV can get 100km on just 1.9L of petrol.

Audi A3 Sportback This hybrid vehicle may be a bit costly but it has a low combined tailpipe C02 of 35 and an estimated annual fuel cost of $538. It can reach 100km on just 1.6L of petrol.

BMW X5 This is a medium-sized hybrid SUV that can run on 11.1L of petrol for 100km. The combined tailpipe C02 is 78, with an estimated annual fuel cost of $668.

Costs of buying green cars

The cost of an environmentally-friendly car in Australia ranges between $27,000 and $135,000. The Toyota Corolla costs around $27,000, the Mitsubishi Outlander $47,000, the Audi A3 Sportsback $62,000, and the BMW X5 around $135,000.

With the availability of a green car loan, it’s now possible to finance your environmentally-friendly vehicle more cheaply. First, you will need to ensure that your car qualifies for the green car loan. It should have low carbon dioxide emissions compared to other cars of its size.

To find out if your vehicle is on our green car list, you can speak with one of our car lending experts on 13 10 90.

Tips for driving an environmentally-friendly car

  • Lessen heavy loads: Carrying unnecessary car accessories and heavy loads can add weight to the vehicle. As much as possible, try to minimise things in the car and get rid of the things that you don’t need, this can help reduce fuel consumption.
  • Regularly maintain the green car: Whether or not you have a green car, it’s important that you do a regular maintenance such as checking tire air levels and engine oil if you drive a hybrid car.
  • Consider carpooling: Consider carpooling with friends or co-workmates if you are headed to the same destination, this can help reduce the production of carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Keep tires properly inflated: This can improve gas mileage by more than 3%, correctly inflated tires last longer and are safer to drive on.
  • Plan ahead: Improve fuel efficiency by planning out your route. You can also do all your errands in one trip rather than doing one in one day, so you can minimise fuel consumption on your hybrid vehicle.

Buying a green car is becoming an attractive choice for many Australians, especially those that who want to save money on fuel and to those who are concerned about the environment. You can check out our green car loan rates here and see if your green car qualifies.

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, loans.com.au has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.

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