Fiat welcomes new emissions charge

Fiat has welcomed the announcement by London mayor Ken Livingstone of new exemptions from his congestion charge.

The £17 fee for driving in central London has been one of the most controversial measures introduced by the mayor.

It is designed to cut traffic, protect the local environment and raise money for other transport projects.

The decision yesterday to exempt cars in vehicle excise duty (VED) bands A and B from the charge means a number of drivers will now make a saving.

Models from Fiat’s Bravo, Grande Punto, Panda and new 500 ranges are clean enough to pass the new requirements, prompting marketing director Elena Bernadelli to say: "New rules enable our customers to save money as well as feel better about our environment."

Citroen also came out in support of the move, announcing that it offers 23 models that are now exempt from the congestion charge. Renault said its customers would have 31 models to choose from.

Seat’s new Ibiza Ecomotive and Leon Ecomotive will also be congestion charge free, along with the BMW 118d three and five-door, the Mini Cooper D and Mini Cooper D Clubman.

While cleaner vehicles will not have to pay to drive in central London, the biggest polluters will now face a £25 fee.

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