Volvo has been successful in its bid to force a review into the current congestion charge alternative fuel exemption scheme, which it feels is unfairly biased towards hybrid and electric cars.
At present, drivers of hybrid cars can enter the congestion charge zone free of charge no matter what the car’s emissions are. Drivers of conventional internal combustion-engined cars have to pay the £8 daily charge, even if their cars are considerably less polluting than hybrid models.
In his response to Volvo’s campaign, London mayor Boris Johnson said the exemption to the congestion charge was introduced to encourage the take-up of more environmentally friendly vehicles, but he recognised that combustion engine technology has developed considerably since then.
A What Car? poll confirmed the public believes the current hybrid and electric car exemption is outdated and unfair. Around 50 per cent of more than 1500 respondents confirmed that they believe any exemption should be CO2 based, while 34 per cent believe the current system is fair.