World’s greenest car named

The Swiss government has named Toyota's Prius car the world's greenest car in a study aimed at persuading drivers to buy eco friendly vehicles.

It gave the hybrid car the highest green rating after evaluating the environmental impact of driving around 6,000 different cars – including carbon dioxide (C02) emissions which contribute to global warming.

The Patrol GR 3.0 of rival Japanese firm Nissan received the lowest rating.

The list may change before it is finalised next year but the government hopes it will influence drivers to buy cars which affect the environment less.

Adrian Aeschlimann, a Federal Office for the Environment spokesman, said: “The goal is to modernize the fleet of cars and to make the use of natural resources as efficient as possible, so that using cars will exert less pressure on the environment.”

News of the list coincides with the launch here this week of a government website ranking the most environmentally friendly vehicles.

The Prius twins battery power and a combustion engine.

Since its launch in 1997 has gone on to become the best-selling hybrid though hybrids account for only a fraction of global car sales.

Small cars and hybrid vehicles dominated the top 20 of the Swiss list, which could also be used to impose an emissions-related tax on cars – already introduced in some local authority areas in this country.

Last month Lambeth Council became one of the first local authorities to link parking permits charges to vehicle emissions.

Under the new scheme, owners of so-called “gas-guzzlers” pay more than owners of less polluting vehicles, according to a national banding system.

Councillor Nigel Haselden, the council’s deputy cabinet member for transport and parking, said it showed the borough’s “determination to play its part in reducing London’s emissions”.

Surprisingly, though, under Lambeth’s new scheme the cost of a parking permit for a Toyota Prius has increased by 66%.

The Department for Transport Best on CO2 car rankings can be viewed on the department’s website.

David Gibbs

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