As fuel prices seemingly continue their ascent and emissions concerns become more prominent among the wider community, many motorists are looking into eco-friendly cars. Given technological developments in recent time, now is as good a time as ever to consider one of these vehicles for their low or no emissions, plus lower operating costs.
Despite this however, a narrow range of vehicles and higher purchase prices are seen as a deterrent, so finding the right balance is not always easy. Here’s some helpful advice on how to choose an eco-friendly car.
A hybrid car offers a blend between petrol and electric operation. Although there is an increasing variety of hybrid vehicles – each with a varying mix of operating power – the general premise is that the car will switch between the two systems in order to maximise efficiency.
This means that when you’re stationary, accelerating or driving at low speed, the electric functionality will kick in. While in transit at a higher speed, the petrol engine will provide power. A vehicle’s battery may be charged by the petrol engine, meaning you don’t have to be off the road waiting for your car to be recharged.
Electric vehicles are still trying to find their position in the marketplace, having struggled to gain any real traction thus far. These cars rely exclusively on a battery to provide power, meaning they require charging. One of the barriers to date with electric vehicles has centred on charging points, which haven’t always been accessible in public, or economical to install at home.
The distance you can drive on each charge, commonly referred to as the range, has also been a limitation, with earlier models constrained by a shorter range. Improvements have seen this become far more competitive nowadays. Since the car is powered by electricity, there is no fuel system and you won’t need to perform oil changes – thus, lowering ongoing running and maintenance costs.
What to look out for
Eco-friendly vehicles will be rated according to their emissions output. Electric vehicles don’t emit any emissions when charged via a renewable source of electricity, however hybrid vehicles will still discharge some lower levels of emissions. If electricity is generated by coal, then the process is not emissions-free, rather, the emissions are produced out of sight.
Consider not only the emissions testing results that are displayed on the vehicle itself, but also online publications that document their own results from private studies. The reason for this is that real-world emissions levels may be different than those done under a strict, mandated test.
Since the purchase price of these vehicles is considerably greater than those of regular petrol or diesel vehicles, you may need to take out higher levels of financing. If you are able to save up a larger initial deposit you can minimise your repayments. The reduction in operating expenses accompanying electric and hybrid vehicles also means such repayments will be easier to make due to the likelihood of a better cash flow position.
The Fincar team is here to help you with all your financing needs. Contact us today to help arrange your next car or equipment loan.