Choosing an Eco-friendly Automobile

Eco-friendly automobiles or green vehicles come in different types and brands, including biodiesel, diesel, electric, and hybrid vehicles. The choice of an eco-friendly automobile depends on factors such as price, your driving needs, brand, and others.

Factors to Look into

When choosing a green vehicle, it is a good idea to consider accessibility to sources of fuel. If there are fuel sources in your area, then you are good to go. Alternative sources of fuel include electricity, biodiesel, and diesel. There are different types of fuels such as biofuels from organic matter and plant material, hydrogen, compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, and others. The price of fuel is also an important consideration. Gasoline, for example, is cheaper than diesel but has lower torque numbers.

The next step is to think of the capabilities you'd like to have, depending on your lifestyle. Do you need a vehicle to go to work each day, to go boating or camping, etc.? Some vehicles come with additional features for backcountry travel, rough terrains, hiking, camping, and other leisure and outdoor activities.

Brands and Features

Look into different brands as well, i.e. Chevy Cruze, BMW Series 3, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Other options include Chevy Volt, Fiat 5e, Tesla Model S, and Ford Focus. The latter are electric vehicles. If you prefer to have a hybrid vehicle, check Toyota Camry, Ford C Max, and others. Chevy Cruze, for example, features antilock brakes, keyless entry, heated seats, backup camera, and a lot more. Tesla Model S is a type of electric vehicle that is fitted with anti-roll balls, speed-sensing steering, and gas-pressurized shock absorbers. The vehicle is also equipped with ports for power and media, voice activated controls, window grid antenna, real-time traffic display, and wireless streaming. Those who are fans of diesel cars are offered plenty of choice as well. Jeep Grand Cherokee, for instance, is a diesel vehicle that comes with features and add-ons such as engine auto stop-start, normal duty suspension, class IV receiver hitch, and more. The vehicle is also equipped with an active noise control system, graphic equalizer, radio data system, and speed compensated volume control. Vehicle owners also benefit from features such as a garage door transmitter, compass, mobile hotspot internet access, and tracker system, among others.

What Else to Consider

When looking for an eco-friendly automobile, there are different factors to take into account, from fuel economy and class of vehicle to brand, features, capabilities, and so on. Obviously, price is an important consideration, and many Canadians resort to external financing to purchase a green vehicle. There are different options depending on one's credit rating, including personal and auto loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc (see here). If you plan to purchase an expensive vehicle but don't have enough in your savings account, then a car loan is a good option. If you just need to cover a portion of the amount, then you can use a credit card with a large limit.

Financing and Leasing Options for Green Cars in Canada

There are two ways to finance the purchase of a green vehicle in Canada – take out a loan or lease (see here). Whether you apply with a financial institution or opt for a lease depends on many factors, the most important being interest rates, vehicle price, and how long you plan to keep the car.

Financing Options

Some banks and credit unions offer financing for the purchase of green vehicles, and special rates apply. Creditors offer lower rates for low-CO2 emitting cars as well as scooters, non-motorized bicycles, electric bikes, alternative fuel conversion systems, etc. Issuers feature loans with flexible repayment schedules of up to 10 years and affordable monthly payments. Some issuers also offer the option to choose between 10-month, monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly payment plans. Borrowers also benefit from no prepayment penalties, no loan setup fees, and fee-free monthly payments. In many cases, standard approval criteria apply. Borrowers are asked to provide financial, employment, and personal information, including liabilities such as credit card debt (see here), loans, and car payments and assets such as real estate, vehicles, investments, and bank accounts. Provide information about your monthly expenses as well, i.e. alimony, mortgage payments, rent, etc. If applying together with co-applicants, customers are asked to provide their employer's number and name, date of birth, and social insurance number. View best Canadian credit cards here.

Car loans are offered to enable the purchase of vehicles that help reduce carbon emissions and are fuel-efficient. Financing is also offered based on fuel efficiency or fuel consumption ratings. In some cases, creditors offer loans for new and nearly new vehicles (up to 3 years old). They usually come as a fixed amount, and the rate depends on payment history, credit score, employment, and other factors.

Lease

A lease is also an option for a green vehicle, including hybrid, electric, and other low-emission types of cars. When you own a vehicle, however, there are no limitations or caps on the mileage. With a lease, there are hefty penalties for going over the mileage cap. At the same time, when you get approved for a loan, you may have to pay administration fees, sales taxes, interest charges, and of course, the principal amount. If you opt for a lease, you will pay the difference between the vehicle's sales value and the value at the end of the term. The term is normally between 3 and 4 years. Your payments basically cover depreciation costs as well as administration fees, sales tax, and interest. One option for a lease is through the manufacturer which means that you get a brand new vehicle. Some manufacturers in Canada offer special promos and rebates on leases and loans that are worth looking into. Toyota Canada, for example, offers a rebate of up to $8,000 to customers who buy a battery electric or plug-in electric vehicle. The rebates offered are between $5,000 and $8,500 and apply to new vehicles only. Car buyers also benefit from zero percent financing on the purchase of fuel-efficient vehicles. Price adjustments are also offered on some vehicle models for further savings. If you choose to buy a vehicle, then there is an option to make a low down payment or no down payment.

Final Words: Buy vs. Lease

Whether you buy or lease is a personal decision but you may want to consider factors such as long-term and monthly costs, per year limit, rebates, required deposits, interest rates, term, residual values, and others.

Canadian Political Scene and the Role of the Green Party

In Canada, there are three levels of government – local or municipal, territorial and provincial, and federal. The municipal governments of villages, towns, and cities are tasked with local issues such as streets and firefighting while the territorial and provincial governments are responsible for highway maintenance, healthcare, education, etc. The federal government is responsible for issues that are important for all of Canada, including international trade, national defense, immigration, and citizenship.

Levels and Sub-levels

The federal government can be further subdivided into levels. The House of Commons, for example, is tasked with law making, and the Members of Parliament are representatives that often belong to one of Canada's political parties. The Senate, on the other hand, reviews laws that have been discussed by the Members of Parliament. There are also ministers for justice, immigration and citizenship, and other matters who make decisions that form an important part of government policy. The formal head of state in Canada is Elizabeth II, represented by the Governor General. At the provincial level are the Legislative Assembly and the Lieutenant Governor, the former being tasked with law making. The Lieutenant Governor, similar to the Governor General, represents the Queen of Canada.

Political Parties

There are several major political parties in Canada, among which the Liberal Party, Green Party, Democratic Advancement Party of Canada, and Conservative Party. The Green Party was founded in 1983 on six major principles – respect for diversity, participatory democracy, sustainability, social justice, non-violence, and ecological wisdom. The party focuses on important issues and policies such as access to information, reduced subsidies for sectors and industries that pollute the environment, family income splitting, and lower income and payroll taxes. Other issues that can be highlighted include animal welfare reform, proportional representation, government transparency, and more investment in diverse sources of renewable energy. In this sense, two of the main pillars of the Green Party's platform are environmental protection and good governance. It comes as no surprise that the party's leader Elizabeth May is an environmental activist with extensive work and efforts toward nuclear energy use reduction. The Green Party also supports subsidies for eco friendly technologies and innovations as well as public transit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

Key elements of its platform include debt forgiveness for student debt in excess of $10,000, abolition of student tuition fees, and livable income. The party is guided by major principles such as culture of peace, self-determination and active citizenship, just society for all citizens, and grassroot democracy. Major principles also include local self-reliance and sustainable living within both financial and ecological means. The party's platform is also centered around core values such as sustainable use of resources, the importance of diversity, and sustainable use of nonrenewable and renewable resources. Social justice is also a core principle based on the equitable distribution of material resources to enable all citizens to participate in public life. Equitable distribution is a way to offer more opportunities for social and personal development. Respect for diversity includes all forms – spiritual, religious, sexual, ethnic, linguistic, racial, and others. The Green Party's platform is also based on the principle of participatory democracy to enable all Canadians to participate in political, social, economic, and environmental decisions. The two other principles include non-violence and ecological wisdom – non-violence means peace and avoiding state conflict while ecological wisdom is based on respect for all forms of life.

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