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Bi-fuel vehicle sales increase at Vauxhall

Sales of Vauxhall's bi-fuel cars and vans are set to increase by 65 per cent this year. The rise is mainly in the public sector, which accounts for 50 per cent of all Dualfuel model sales, while the retail market has remained relatively quiet.

Vauxhall sold 2400 Dualfuel vehicles in 2002, with figures expected to be close to 4000 by the end of this year, keeping it at the top of the bi-fuel sales table. Astra leads the table with 987 registrations. The Government-funded scheme Powershift, which refunds up to 75 per cent of the conversion cost of new vehicles and those up to 12 months old has helped boost sales as have a 100 per cent discount on the central London congestion charge, cheaper tax rates and significantly lower running costs.

The biggest increase has come in London and the South-east.

Corsa, Astra, Zafira, Vectra hatch and saloon, Astravan and Combo are available with petrol/liquefied petroleum gas engines with the Vectra estate and Meriva being introduced next year. There are no plans yet to include the new Signum.

Dualfuel variants are available through the Vauxhall dealer network and the manufacturer is aiming to make buying and driving a lower emissions vehicle as simple as a standard petrol model.

With 39 other local authorities in the UK considering introducing a congestion charge scheme, Vauxhall sees sales increasing further.

“We are encouraged by the big rise in sales,” says Ian Blinder, manager of special vehicles. “It confirms our faith in the Dualfuel concept was well placed. We were first in the marketplace and we intend to remain at the top of the sales table.”

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