Volvo has launched a campaign to change the basis of charging for the London Congestion Charging zone.
The carmaker believes that exemption of hybrid cars from the Congestion Charge is now outdated and unfair as many conventional internal combustion engines emit less CO2 emissions.
Drivers of hybrid cars enter the zone free of charge on a daily basis while drivers of low emission cars powered by conventional internal combustion engines with the same, or even lower, levels of emissions are charged £8.00 per day. This tax could add a financial burden of over £2,000 per year to those drivers who have selected a traditionally-powered low emission car.
Hybrid-powered cars have CO2 outputs ranging from 89g/km to 219g/km, yet all are exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
Volvo's S40 1.6D DRIVe with Start/Stop technology emits 104g/km yet drivers are charged £8.00 to enter the capital.
At the end of 2008, there were 13 non-hybrid cars from other manufacturers emitting less than 105g/km of CO2 on the market.
Using the Society of Motor Manufacturer and Traders sales figures, this would equate to over 9,500 owners of low-emission cars that should, given a level playing field, be exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
The number of conventionally-powered low emission cars will increase substantially throughout 2009, as will the number of affected owners.
Those affected are being encouraged to register their support at www.volvocars.co.uk/emissionsequality . People can also follow the cause on http://twitter.com/eequality or befriend the campaign at www.facebook.com/pages/Emissions-Equality/119945287541.