Banks boost lo-cost loans for eco-friendly cars

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In a bid to do a little good for the world, some credit unions are offering programs where they will give you a car loan at the prime lending rate (currently 6%) if you buy a hybrid. Now I know these types of programs have been around for a while, for instance here in Vancouver, the Vancity Credit Union has been offering such a program for about three years. But, it’s worth highlighting these programs and the fact that financial institutions who offer such a product are doing so at a loss in potential profit: “It’s definitely less financially profitable for us to offer the Clean Air Auto Loan,” said Amanda Pitre-Hayes, senior sustainability programs manager at Vancity. “But we look at not just the financial returns, but also the environmental returns.”

And the savings to the hybrid car consumer are pretty huge, when you consider that a convential car loan runs at about 8%. Add in the savings on gas and the tax exemptions that apply to a hybrid and being environmentally-friendly is a pretty much a no-brainer.

Here’s a few banks in Canada that offer such programs, I would be interested in hearing about more:

Vancity 

Bay Credit Union

Credit Union Atlantic 

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Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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