Fleet News

Toyota gains funding guarantee for Prius

TOYOTA has been guaranteed funding to support the launch of the next generation Prius petrol-electric hybrid from January 2004, despite cash for green conversions being put on hold.

The previous Toyota Prius had been eligible for a £1,000 PowerShift grant, and although the Energy Saving Trust announced last week that the gas-conversion grants had run out until the next financial year (Fleet NewsNet November 13), the trust has assured Toyota that the new car will be supported from its launch.

A spokesman for the Energy Saving Trust (EST) said the Prius was subject to an existing agreement with Toyota and would not be affected by the lack of current funds for gas conversions.

Toyota has been in discussions with the EST throughout the development of the Prius, and money from the Government's £10 million allocation is ringfenced for the car.

The Prius will go on sale from January 2 priced from £17,495 on-the-road for the entry-level T3 model. There will also be a T4 model priced at £18,295, while the range-topping T Spirit model will be £19,995. All will be eligible for a £1,000 PowerShift grant to reduce the on-the-road price.

The Prius offers combined fuel consumption of 65.7mpg with carbon dioxide emissions of 104g/km. Its hybrid status means it gains a discount on benefit-in-kind tax with a rate of 11% in 2003/04 and 2004/05. It gets a 2% cut for being a hybrid vehicle and 1% for each 20g/km below the minimum CO2 emissions threshold of 145g/km in 2004/2005.

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