Everyone knows that there are environmental benefits to be had from green cars (green as in ‘environmentally friendly’, that is, not green as in… green), but what about the monetary side of things? There are often conflicting reports given as to whether green cars save or cost you money – reports that usually vary according to whether the person making the claims is a fan of green cars or not. But which side has the better argument? For instance, do green cars lead to cheap car insurance, as some have suggested?
Well… yes and no. The current state of affairs and the green car market suggests that these cars help you save in some ways but can cost more in others. Largely this is because it’s still a relatively young market, and so the benefits of going green in your choice of vehicle are only just starting to become apparent. As more green cars come into circulation (with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt being two recent examples) and the infrastructure to support them becomes more comprehensive, it should be easier to save money with this type of car.
Different shades of green
Much of the contention also occurs because there are different types of green car available. For instance, the Prius is probably the best known example of a ‘green’ car. This type of car is a hybrid and, while it is better for the environment than a big gas guzzler, it doesn’t currently save you a huge amount of money – if anything at all.
However, electric cars such as the Volt and Leaf, which are designed for the mass market and are being supported by developments elsewhere, arguably have more potential to save you cash in the long run. For instance, schemes are being set up in places such as Houston to support people who buy the Nissan Leaf by installing charge ports in their homes.
This is another area where there are conflicting reports as to whether green cars help you save money. Currently, there are no clear trends to suggest that having a green car will get you cheaper car insurance. However, reports from Canada suggest that generally, car insurance companies quite like green car drivers, perhaps because there’s a perception that they’re safer than the average driver. This has led some companies to offer discounts on insurance for green car drivers, which suggests that if you know where to look, you can save money on insurance.
Development of infrastructure
Arguably, one of the biggest challenges for saving money on green cars is that the infrastructure simply isn’t there yet. It’s definitely on its way, and there are charge points for electric cars appearing all over the place now, but the system is still very much being developed. Until all of the infrastructure is in place, however, and drivers have stopped worrying about not being able to charge their car when they need to, it’s probably going to be quite hard to persuade skeptics to adopt green cars to help promote the benefits of them.
When they do, however, there are potentially some great savings to be made, so this is certainly one market to watch.
This is a guest post