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Toyota backs switch to air quality taxation system

Date: 17 December 2012   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Toyota has revealed it would welcome a change in the vehicle taxation system in the UK from the current CO2 system to one based on NOx and particulate emissions.

No formal plans for such a system have been announced, but rumours have long been circulating that air quality is likely to play a bigger part in future vehicle taxation and charging schemes.

Such a programme would favour electric cars, hybrids and clean petrol engines, but it could be detrimental to diesel-engined vehicles, which have higher NOx and particulate emissions.

Chris Hayes, general manager for vehicle marketing at Toyota GB, told BusinessCar the integration of such a programme would give the firm the edge in the UK because of its suite of hybrid vehicles: "Air quality is a key consideration. Any legislative framework that did take in NOx and particulates would be very favourable from our position.

"It's been on the table for a while now and we would support that. On today's [product] line-up, it would give us a relative advantage."

Hayes also spoke about the planned changes to the London Congestion Charge, which would see the level for exemption drop from the current 100g/km to 75g/km - 4g/km below that of the Yaris hybrid, which is the cleanest conventionally powered supermini on the market.

"We're expecting a spike in those cars that are currently congestion charge-exempt that won't be in future. We will look to do everything we can to meet key tax thresholds.

"The priority will be to do everything from an engineering point of view to meet them."

Hayes would not be led on whether the firm was planning to introduce low-capacity petrol engines similar to Ford's Ecoboost and VW's TFSI units, but he hinted it would become available with the new Auris, simply saying: "We intend to introduce additional engines during the lifecycle of the car."

This came as Toyota's UK managing director, Jon Williams, announced that the company intends to launch 21 new hybrid vehicles globally within the next three years.

"At least one will be a fuel cell hybrid and ready by 2015. We are on track for this," he concluded.

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