Efficient cars will attract a 0.7 per cent interest rate discount.

Businesses are being offered access to cheaper finance for choosing low emissions passenger and light commercial vehicles.

The agreement between the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and commercial auto and equipment lender Metro Finance will see customers being offered a 0.7 per cent discount on Metro’s standard finance rate if they purchase low emissions vehicles, including electric cars and hybrids.

“Our goal is to put more customers into low emissions vehicles by providing our broker network with opportunities to influence their customers,” Metro Finance chief executive Phillip Crossman said.

“The CEFC’s finance makes it possible for us to offer a discount to encourage customers to choose vehicles that will have a lasting positive impact on the environment.”

Metro is a non-bank lender that does not provide loans direct to the market, rather operates through a group of finance brokers, with commercial hire purchase, chattel mortgage and finance lease products available through its broker network.

Under the agreement, $50 million is being put in by the CEFC to cover the discount. Brokers will be provided with statistics and standards on vehicles and equipment that qualify for the discount.

“That way they can demonstrate to customers what makes a ‘green’ choice a good choice,” Mr Crossman said.

CEFC chief executive Ian Learmonth said reducing transport emissions was a key area for the body.

“Transport is responsible for around 16 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. This could be dramatically reduced if businesses replace their old vehicle fleets with best-in-class models,” Mr Learmonth said.

“The scale of emissions reduction that can be achieved through upgrading vehicles with already available technology is staggering.

“National Transport Commission figures show that if Australian consumers had purchased vehicles with best-in-class carbon emissions in 2016, national average carbon emissions would have been reduced by 59 per cent.”

Metro Finance will run a Metro Green website for brokers to quickly identify whether a particular car qualifies for the discount.

“In this way, Metro Finance will be leading the movement to promote green finance within the transport industry which it regards as an inevitable progression,” Mr Crossman said.

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