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Volvo wins congestion charge review

  • Volvo challenges ruling
  • Only hybrids currently exempt
  • Mayor to review charges
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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Volvo has forced a review of London's Congestion Charge exemption policy.

Currently, all hybrid vehicles are exempt from the charge, regardless of the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they produce, while all conventionally powered cars have to pay the 8 daily charge - even though some emit less CO2 than hybrids.

Stuart Kerr, Volvo Car's regional president for Europe, wrote to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, in June to has ask him to review the current ruling, after its S40 1.6D DRIVe with engine stop-start was named overall winner in the What Car? Green Awards.

Current system 'unfair'
Boris Johnson confirmed that the exemption to the Congestion Charge was 'introduced to incentivise the take-up of more environmentally friendly vehicles' but that he also recognised that technology has developed considerably since then.

Transport for London will report its exemption recommendations by the end of the year.

What Car? poll
A whatcar.com poll revealed that 50% of more than 1500 respondents believe that exemption to the congestion charge should be based on CO2 emissions. Just 34% said they felt that the system should remain unchanged, with all hybrid or electric cars exempt from the charge.

Since Volvo's original letter was sent, its Emission Equality campaign has attracted hundreds of supporters on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Emissions-Equality/119945287541), Twitter, (http://twitter.com/eequality) and Volvo Car UK's website ( http://www.volvocars.com/uk/Pages/Emissions_Equality.aspx).