Independent, Expert EV Reviews & Advice Since 2006

Britain’s largest hybrid fleet

Toyota has reached agreement to supply Sainsbury’s with Britain’s largest fleet of hybrid power vehicles. The company is to take delivery of 400 Prius models, in a move towards cleaner and greener motoring for its staff. This is the largest ever UK fleet deal for Prius.

The ground-breaking deal is further evidence of how Prius is successfully establishing itself as an effective competitor in the fleet market. More and more businesses are recognising the real-world benefits of its user-friendly advanced technology in terms of lower emissions, fuel efficiency and reliability.

Tim Copland, General Manager Toyota Fleet, said: “The decision by Sainsbury’s to choose Prius represents an important leap forward for Prius in its development as a first-choice consideration for fleet decision makers.

“Toyota hybrid power is coming of age in the fleet market, winning the argument in a highly competitive environment with its low emissions, low running costs and reliability. A further cost benefit is a lower personal tax liability of 10 per cent instead of the normal 12. These qualities are backed by the high standards of service and after sales support provided by Toyota Fleet.”

Alison Austin, Head of Environment, Sainsbury’s: “Managing our environmental impact is crucial to being an efficient and sustainable business. This is why we have an overall target to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 per cent by 2012. We are constantly looking at how we can make our operations greener, but we also know it’s important to encourage our 150,000 colleagues to do the same. By offering Toyota Prius as business-need cars means they can help make the difference too, as well as paying less for running the car, and to the taxman.”

This deal adds impetus to Toyota Prius, with 2007 sales already up an impressive 74 per cent over 2006 to 8,750 units. The current generation Prius, launched in 2004, is the world’s cleanest family car.

Its hybrid power system – which combines a conventional petrol engine with a compact but powerful electric motor – emits just 104g/km of carbon dioxide and has an official combined fuel consumption figure of 65.7mpg. Hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides emissions are respectively 80 and 84.5 per cent lower than required by Euro IV standards for petrol engines. Particulate emissions, one of the drawbacks of diesel power, are zero with the Prius. In slow moving city traffic Prius can run for a distance on electric power alone, cutting emissions and fuel consumption to zero; it also benefits from being exempt from the London Congestion Charge.