Bernard Jenkin MP, Shadow Minister for Transport, took time out in the last few days of the parliamentary session to try the new Toyota Prius on the busy roads around the Palace of Westminster.
Prius, the world’s first mass production hybrid car, uses both petrol and electric motors to vastly reduce fuel consumption and emissions, particularly in city centre traffic situations.
Mr Jenkin found the car to be comfortable and easy to drive. He said: “My Party believes that environmentally friendly cars such as the Prius are to be welcomed. This car highlights why our policy is to levy duty based on CO2 emissions, not engine capacity. For example, this car is one of the cleanest in the world, yet would be taxed at the higher level under the current system because it has a 1.5 litre engine.”
Prius, which will go on sale in the UK next year, already meets the very low level of CO2 emissions called for by legislation that does not come into effect in Europe until 2005. MPs from various parties have been invited to drive the Prius.