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Westpac launches discount car loan for electric vehicles

·3-min read
Westpac sign and electric vehicle
Westpac's rates for the low-emissions vehicle car loan will start at 4.99 per cent per annum. (Source: Reuters, Getty)

Westpac has announced a new discounted car loan for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Rates for the low-emissions vehicle car loan will start at 4.99 per cent per annum, compared to 6.21 per cent per annum for a standard car loan.

Customers will be able to borrow between $10,000 and $100,000 to finance one of the eligible hybrid or EV models.

The bulk of motorists want electric vehicles or hybrids, according to a survey by the major bank, with 34 per cent of petrol and diesel drivers considering making the switch when they buy their next car.

Another 70 per cent planned to own one of these vehicles some time in the future.

The upfront cost remained the biggest barrier for most Aussies, with 67 per cent blaming the hefty price tag on hybrids and electric vehicles as the main reason they were yet to switch.

However, many people were aware they could lower their operating costs by buying an electric car.

As many as 78 per cent flagged saving fuel as a top motivator for wanting an EV or hybrid, reflecting the fuel price pain felt across the nation, with petrol costs surging.

“Given the recent increase in petrol prices, electric and hybrid vehicles appeal to the environmentally conscious, and the financially conscious too,” said Chris de Bruin, Westpac chief executive, consumer & business banking.

“We know that cost is one of the biggest barriers to hybrid and electric vehicle uptake, so this offer can help more customers transition to a greener vehicle,” de Bruin added.

The new rate will be available for eligible new and used hybrid and electric vehicles up to seven years old.

The economic case for EVs is growing

While upfront cost remains a large barrier for people, motorists can take advantage of state-level subsidies to bring down the cost of their EV purchase.

People also worry about having access to charging infrastructure. However, the good news is most states and territories are investing in infrastructure.

The Queensland government, for example, is investing in a series of fast-charging sites it calls the “Queensland Electric Super Highway”.

EVs are typically cheaper to run than petrol cars, although it’s worth noting that electricity costs are rising.

However, for the 3 million households with rooftop solar, EV owners can charge using cheap energy from the sun, depending on their car-use patterns.

Plus, EV owners may soon be able to use their car as a battery with the rise of “bi-directional” or “vehicle-to-grid” charging technology.

This will allow car batteries to soak up excess renewable energy for use when renewables aren’t generating.

EVs are also easier to service, which keeps down maintenance costs.

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