As someone interested in eco-friendly living, you’ve likely already taken a number of steps to live a more green lifestyle. In addition to recycling everything possible and buying energy-efficient appliances, you’ve also thought about “going green” with the car you drive every day.
Fortunately, in addition to the impact electric and hybrid vehicles have on the environment — like using little or no gas and having reduced emission— there are a number of benefits in place that make these energy-efficient vehicles especially attractive.
Here are several enticements that may provide you a tipping point to “go green”:
1. Understanding Emissions Testing Exemptions
If you’ve ever had to wait in a long line for your car to go through emissions testing, you know what a pain in the rear end this process can be. To encourage more motorists to drive eco-friendly cars, most states have done away with emissions testing for hybrid and electric vehicles. That’s great news for those electing to be better stewards of the environment.
Want to forego emissions testing, too? Visit a website like Driving-Tests.org, where you can download a free, state-specific copy of your DMV handbook and uncover tips about how to take advantage of local green driving laws and regulations.
2. Driving in the HOV Lane
If you have a long commute to work and find yourself feeling envious of the cars zipping along in the HOV lane, you’re in luck. As Autobytel.com notes, buying an electric or hybrid vehicle is your ticket out of bumper-to-bumper traffic — and into the usually traffic-free HOV lanes. In fact, many states give eco-friendly vehicles carte blanche when it comes to driving in the HOV lane — even if you’re driving solo behind the wheel.
3. Applying for Tax Incentives
Come April, when you’re busy figuring out how much you owe Uncle Sam, having an eco-friendly vehicle in the driveway may help make your tax burden a little easier to swallow. As you prepare your taxes, know that you may eligible for a number of state-level incentives, including income tax rebates.
Additionally, as a green vehicle owner, some states offer discounts on the amount of excise taxes you owe. So if you’re thinking about buying an eco-friendly vehicle, it’s definitely worth looking up any state-specific laws and regulations to determine the offers for which you may qualify.
Helping Green Cars Become Mainstream
Electric and hybrid vehicles made up less than 1 percent of all car sales in 2016, according to EFT Daily. But many experts believe this number will only increase in the next few years. Across the U.S., a zero-emission vehicle mandate has been adopted by 10 states, including California, New Jersey, New York and Oregon. The movement’s goal is to encourage car manufacturers to develop zero-emission vehicles, which would earn them some form of tax credits.
Additionally, Tesla is bringing the idea of eco-friendly vehicles to the forefront with the production of its Model 3. This mid-size, all-electric vehicle already uses a battery pack that costs less than $190, which Tesla hopes to lower before it hits the road. Of course, the Model 3’s estimated $35,000 price tag won’t make it the cheapest vehicle on the road, but it will be within the budgets of enough consumers to help make all-electric cars more appealing and mainstream.