COUNCILS, CONSTABLES, BUSES AND A BREWERY GO GREEN WITH TOYOTA PRIUS

Local councils, transport services and private businesses are among the UK’s leading vehicle fleets who will be commended for their environmental contributions at this year’s annual Green Fleet Conference. Environmental pioneer Toyota with its Prius, the world’s first mass produced hybrid vehicle, has been chosen as corporate partner for the Green Fleet Awards, to be held on 10 May at Stratford Manor Hotel, near Stratford Upon Avon.

Eco-conscious fleets are also finding that technological breakthroughs, which have made the development of revolutionary vehicles such as the Toyota Prius petrol-electric hybrid car possible, now offer them the means to achieve real environmental improvements without having to sacrifice driver appeal.

That’s the conclusion of the organisers of the forthcoming Green Fleet Awards 2001. They say the majority of entries this year are from public bodies, which have not entered previously, indicating growing awareness of the benefits of going green not only for the environment but also for the bodies themselves and the tax-payers who fund them.

Aware of their environmental responsibility, companies are moving towards cleaner exhaust and improved fuel consumption. New awards have been introduced this year in recognition of this growing trend in the private business community.

While the organisers report that the public sector is still making the most of the running, that situation could change next year. “Vehicle Excise Duty based on CO2

emissions and new company car tax structures are likely to coincide with continuing prohibitive petrol and diesel prices in 2002,” says Toyota Fleet’s General Manager Jon Pollock.

“Vehicles such as Prius are ideally placed as a practical solution to the challenges which will face fleet operators of all types and sizes.”

Fleets are also being encouraged by Government-backed initiatives such as the Powershift scheme, which has been offering £1,000 subsidies to customers opting to use the Toyota Prius, and Motorvate, which aims to show businesses how to cut their CO2 emissions and make savings in the process.

“We are delighted to be associated with the Green Fleet Awards 2001 because it’s very important to recognise those fleets who are aware of their responsibility towards the environment and are prepared to do something about it,” says Jon Pollock. “If the fleet operators have the inclination, we can certainly help them meet many of their future needs through Prius and other eco-conscious vehicles in the Toyota range.”

The Toyota Prius, on sale in the UK since October 2000, will be available for delegates to examine and drive during the Green Fleet event.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  1. Using the Toyota Hybrid System (THS), Prius can cruise at 100mph, carry five people in comfort yet offer fuel consumption of 61.4mpg around town. Its CO2 emissions are approx half those of comparable petrol-engined cars, and other emissions about 10 per cent. This not only comfortably meets Euro III standards but also undercuts by half the maximum levels stipulated under Euro IV – operable from 2005.
  2. Prius uses only the most efficient operating range of a VVT-i 1.5-litre petrol engine coupled with a 30kW electric motor. It can run on both or either power source, making it a true hybrid, and below 10mph runs silently and emission-free on electric power alone. The onboard batteries require no external charging.
  3. Toyota Prius is the first new car to come with a standard manufacturer’s five-year warranty and roadside assistance package, while a special leasing scheme insures against any fears about residual values.

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