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What are eco-friendly auto loans? Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by offering interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content. This allows users to conduct research and compare data for free – so that you can make financial decisions with confidence. Bankrate has agreements with issuers including, but not limited to, American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi and Discover. How We Make money The products that appear on this website are provided by companies that compensate us. This compensation can affect the way and where products appear on the site, such as, for example, the order in which they may be listed within the categories of listing in the event that they are not permitted by law for our mortgage, home equity and other home loan products. But this compensation does affect the information we provide, or the reviews appear on this website. We do not contain the vast array of companies or financial offers that may be available to you.


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4 min read. Published 26 October 2022

Writen by Rebecca Betterton Written by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ways and pitfalls of using loans to buy the car they want.

Editor: Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been editing and writing for Bankrate since late 2021. They are passionate about helping readers gain confidence to take control of their finances with concise, well-researched, and clear information that breaks down otherwise complicated topics into bite-sized pieces.

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In early August 2021 the president Biden signed an executive decree which stated that half of new cars that are sold within the U.S. should be electric in 2030. So this is the ideal time to hop behind the wheel of a green vehicle. If you are , you may be able to save money through the green auto loan. A green auto loan is a financing option for consumers purchasing low or zero emission vehicles. They often feature and several other advantages. Are they green car loans? A green car loan is a way to purchase eco-friendly cars — or vehicles with lower emissions. The fuel-efficient vehicles typically fall under the category of hybrid or electric and can be purchased from many manufacturers, from Ford to Nissan and even Tesla. Green auto loans can encourage customers to consider these environmentally friendly vehicles by offering interest rate discounts, and other benefits. These loans are able to make green vehicles cheaper for buyers. For instance, Chevrolet offers a 3.49 percent APR on 60-month loans when purchasing their Bolt EV. Similar to that, Ford offers a 3.9 percent APR for loans that extend up to 72-months for the Mustang Mach-E. These rates are less than the current average rates of interest on new auto loans, which were between 5.4 percent and 5.28% as of September 20, 2022. But you’ll have to meet other credit and credit criteria in order to qualify for these discounts. What qualifies as a “green” vehicle? The term “green car” refers to one which uses alternative fuels or electricity, instead of gasoline or diesel and is therefore greener in terms of environmental impact. They have advantages like less carbon dioxide emissions, lower maintenance, less fuel stops , and more peaceful engines. A from the International Council on Clean Transportation showed that electric vehicles have the lowest lifetime greenhouse gas emissions among all types of cars. The study found that the life-cycle emissions of a medium-sized electric vehicle are 60 percent to 68% less than in the United States. The most eco-friendly vehicles come with a designation, an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to vehicles that have the lowest emissions in every model year. A lot of lenders use this distinction to determine if your vehicle can qualify for a low-cost environmentally friendly auto loan. Still, green vehicles come with a higher average upfront price tag than traditional automobiles. Many states also encourage drivers to purchase these vehicles by . According to Kelley Blue Book, the cost of electric vehicles will be around $30,000 in the United States in September 2022. But not all electric vehicles will cost this much, and certain luxury models will cost more. For instance, the base cost of a 2022 Nissan Leaf is $27,400, while the 2022 Tesla Model 3 starts at $48,490. The possibility of spending more than $100,000 on electric vehicles is possible. Tesla Dual Motor Model X Tesla Dual Motor Model X costs a hefty $120,990. Despite the high prices, are growing faster than all other kinds of vehicles, according . How do the green loans differ from conventional auto loans? A green auto loan is similar to a conventional car loan: You’ll through an auto lender and receive an interest rate that is based on the creditworthiness of your score. You’ll pick the repayment period and pay regular monthly interest for the loan period. However, the terms of these two loans may be slightly different. Green auto loans generally have lower rates of interest than conventional loans or through lower base interest rates or discount rates. Since green cars can be expensive, many lenders provide longer term repayments than traditional auto loans to help reduce the monthly payment. One of the main factors that distinguish green auto loans is where they’re available. In contrast to typical auto loans that you get from banks or online lenders, you’re more likely to get eco-friendly auto loan through an . It’s the University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union, Verity Credit Union, the Vermont State Employees Credit Union and Verity Credit Union all offer green auto loans. Furthermore, some dealers may also offer green loans from the manufacturer. For example, Ford offers financing for Mach-E models via local dealerships. Similarly, Chevrolet offers financing for its Bolt models through dealers. Why are green auto loans crucial in 2022? Green auto loans and vehicles began in the early- to mid-2000s, and they’re growing at a rapid pace. High gas prices may help fuel the demand, with prices per gallon averaging around $3.77 in the last week of October. Based on Kelley Blue Book, Americans electric vehicles will be more popular during the third quarter of 2022 over the same timeframe in 2021. Many car manufacturers have committed to supporting the federal initiative, and to drive more green car purchases. Ford, General Motors and Stellantis (which has Chrysler as well as Fiat) have pledged to increase electric vehicle production. Next steps and where to apply for an auto loan that is green. loan Before applying for a green loan, make sure that your finances are in most favorable condition. Do your best to improve your credit scorelenders will look at the credit score of yours, as well as income and more to determine if you are eligible for an loan and what rates they are willing to offer. You can then shop around for your new green car loan. A quick comparison of a few rates prior to submitting an application for the loan will allow you to get the best price. Look through these resources for help as you begin the : PlugStar: is an especially useful resource for car shoppers earlier in the process. After entering your ZIP code as well as the desired model and make You’ll be able to see estimates of cost along with available incentives, as well as information on local dealerships and the environmental footprint of your vehicle. EV Life: EV Life’s gives you the option of being prequalified with a variety of lenders. It also automatically qualifies you for incentives and rebates by putting those savings in advance to your monthly payment. Credit unions Local credit unions are among the best places to start your search for green auto loan. Credit unions such as JetStream Federal Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union and MyPoint Credit Union offer interest-only discounts for auto loans for green cars. Talk to your local credit union for details on available options as you shop for an automobile loan. The bottom line Buying an eco-friendly vehicle will pay off in a few ways. You may lower the carbon footprint of your vehicle and take advantage of tax incentives and reduce fuel costs. Before you apply for a green auto loan look into at three lenders, and ask about their eligibility requirements, incentives and discounts. You should be preapproved in order to examine the costs, interest rates and monthly payments over the course that you will be paying for the loan. Shopping around could land you an auto loan discount that could save you thousands or hundreds of dollars.


Authored by Auto Loans Reporter

Rebecca Betterton is the auto loans reporter for Bankrate. She specializes in assisting readers to navigate the ins and outs of securely borrowing money to purchase an automobile.

The edit was done by Rhys Subitch Edited by Auto loans editor

Rhys has been writing and editing for Bankrate from late 2021. They are committed to helping readers to take control of their finances with concise, well-researched, and clear information that break down complex topics into manageable bites.

Auto loans editor

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