Well, Toyota has sent out an email telling customers to “give up dirty diesels and save yourself a packet”.
The email from the firm’s fleet services division claims that nearly 5,000 premature deaths a year are linked to vehicle exhaust emissions. It suggests that Toyota and Lexus hybrid models are cleaner, with no sooty particulates, low carbon dioxide (CO2) and near-zero nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.
Since 2001, car tax has been based on CO2 emissions, and as such manufacturers have been concentrating on lowering their CO2 figures.
But are CO2 emissions the be all and end all when it comes to being environmentally conscious? Not according to Toyota, which believes NOx shouldn’t be overlooked and thus pushes its hybrid line-up as a genuinely eco-friendly alternative to diesels.
That’s not to say the manufacturer doesn’t sell diesel cars. It recently replaced its own 2.0-litre diesel in the Verso with a 1.6-litre BMW engine in an attempt to become more competitive in a segment dominated by small diesel engines. And the Landcruiser? That’s powered by Toyota’s own 3.0-litre D-4D diesel engine that pumps out 213g/km CO2.
Which is why it’s slightly odd that the brand is continuing its campaign against diesel-powered cars.
What do you think – is it right of Toyota to highlight NOx emissions? Or is it unusual that a company that sells diesel cars compares them to smoking cigarettes? Comment below to let us know.