AVOID CONGESTION CHARGING IN LONDON WITH TOYOTA PRIUS

London commuters driving in and out of the centre should be able to save a staggering £1,250 in congestion charges from February 2003 by driving the revolutionary petrol-electric hybrid the Toyota Prius. The very cleanest ‘green’ vehicles, including the Toyota Prius, will be exempt from the £5 a day charge under London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s forthcoming congestion charging scheme.

TransportAction PowerShift (The Energy Savings Trust), the Government-funded initiative which aims to promote cleaner motoring, supports Prius through the PowerShift grant enabling customers to receive a £1,000 grant on a Prius. TransportAction PowerShift will administer the list of vehicles exempt from the congestion charge through its Register; this will include Toyota Prius.

In March 2002 Transport for London finalised its congestion charging scheme, which will commence from February 2003. The new regulations mean that drivers could pay up to £25 a week to enter the designated central London zone between 7am and 6.30pm.

Owning a Prius for London drivers will be more cost effective than ever with the exemption from congestion charging. In addition, Prius drivers now benefit from a reduced Vehicle Excise Duty. The Government’s 2002 budget encourages “cleaner” vehicles with carbon dioxide emissions of less than 120g/km, including Toyota Prius and Yaris D-4D by offering them a discount of up to £100 from the annual licence fee.

The global success of the Toyota Prius and other hybrid models continues to rise with over 100,000 hybrid models sold since December 1997. Toyota introduced the first mass–produced hybrid vehicle with the Toyota Prius and has contributed to Toyota’s 90% share of the world hybrid market.

Sales of Prius in the UK continue steadily with recent purchases from Westminster City Council for their 24-hour Noise Team, Department of Work and Pensions and WWF – the global environment network.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. Toyota Prius drivers will pay a £10 administration cost per year for congestion charging.
  2. TransportAction PowerShift is a government-funded initiative run by the Energy Saving Trust, which aims to create a sustainable market in the UK for vehicles which run on clean fuels such as LPG, natural gas and electricity. Since it was started in 1996, the programme has helped place 12,000 clean fuel vehicles on UK roads. It has helped significantly reduce emissions of NOx and particulates, which are implicated in city pollution and up to 24,000 early deaths every year. It has also reduced the rate of growth of CO2 output from traffic on our roads – transport being one of the major contributors to this global warming gas.
  3. The PowerShift demonstration project programme is designed to make support funding available to assist projects involving near market-ready clean fuel vehicle and engine technologies. Funding is intended to help projects involving vehicles that have the potential for full commercialisation but are inhibited by higher initial set up or scale costs. Funding is not given where a project is likely to go ahead in the absence of support. Support is only given to projects involving vehicles that have the potential to provide significant emissions and other environmental benefits compared with conventional vehicles.
  4. The Toyota Prius is the world’s first mass production hybrid car. It first went on sale in Japan in late 1997. It has won many international awards, including Japanese Car of the Year. The car being sold in the UK has been improved with suspension and engine changes to meet the higher speeds, road conditions and different demands of European drivers.
  5. The UKnetwork of Hybrid Technology Centres are fully trained and equipped to handle Prius. Details on their standards and location can be found on www.prius.co.uk

For further information about TransportAction please visit www.transportaction.org.uk OR contact the TransportAction press office on 01295 224400.

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