CO2 emissions output is an increasingly important factor when deciding on the purchase of a new car. Legislation is incentivising manufacturers to develop and employ new technologies to reduce a vehicle’s running costs and environmental impact.
At the moment there is a total of 20 cars that meet the Government’s criteria for an ultra-low emissions vehicle (ULEV) with tailpipe emissions of less than 75g/km of CO2. However, by the end of 2014, all of the top ten car manufacturers will have an electrically assisted model within their range that meets this description.
Toyota has been well ahead of the curve in this respect, producing the ultra-low emission Prius Plug-in Hybrid model since 2012. It is a vehicle that offers a 15-mile electric range sufficient for most short-distance journeys allied to a charging self-sufficiency that totally removes the range anxiety associated with pure electric cars. The model delivers 134.5mpg on the official plug-in test cycle and its CO2 output of 49g/km is well below the Government cut-off.
The Go Ultra Low campaign was launched today in London by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who also outlined the Government’s £8.8 million investment in charge point infrastructure. He was keen to stress the advantages of ULEVs in today’s society: “These vehicles have multiple benefits – they drive down emissions, save money with extremely low running costs and create… high-tech engineering.”
Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders agreed. “This is a significant development,” he said. ” The Go Ultra Low campaign will help the public understand how these new cars work and how they could be a perfect fit for their personal, business or fleet needs. We hope the campaign will encourage more people to consider going ultra low.”
The Government already offers prospective buyers up to £5000 contribution towards the purchase cost of a new ULEV (or £8000 for a new ULEV van), an amount that comes from a budget of £900 million put aside to support the uptake of these vehicles until the year 2020.
In addition to this contribution, Toyota has formed a partnership with British Gas and Scottish Gas (Scotland and Northern Ireland) to offer reduced rates on installation of a dedicated charging point at your home or business. Prices start from as little as £375, and in some areas installation is completely free.
For more information on the Go Ultra Low campaign, visit the Government website here and follow the Twitter handle here. Read a full review of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid here, or visit the designated section for this model on the Toyota website to arrange a test drive.