Credit union loans drive interest in electric cars

Low loan rates are making the high cost of electric cars a bit more palatable, according to a story in the Contra Costa Times.

With banks tightening up their auto financing, credit unions are offering their members financing of 5% fixed interest if they have good credit, according to the story in the San Francisco Bay Area newspaper.

One recent customer at the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union in Berkeley bought a ZENN electric car at Berkeley's Green Motors. The car was 100% financed. The ZENN costs around $19,000 at Green Motors. Government rebates of around $2,000 are available.

For a credit union member with good credit, a 5% interest rate would lead to monthly payments of $311 for 72 months for the $19,000 electric car.

Vehicle financing is down 32% from a year ago, according to Experian Automotive. But credit unions are taking up the slack.

So if an electric car is on your financial horizon, now is a good time to go to your credit union and check into your loan. The cars have an operating cost of a little more than 2 cents a mile, making the savings add up.

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