The extension of London’s congestion charge zone will lead to massive growth in the adoption of cleaner hybrid cars, says Honda.

Sales forecasts predict there will be over 6500 more low-emission hybrid cars on London’s roads by 2008 – each taking advantage of the 100% discount from the congestion charge. To meet this demand, Honda is trebling supply of its petrol-electric Civic Hybrid in the UK to 3000 during 2007.

SMMT figures show that from 2005 to 2006, the percentage of hybrid cars in London rose from 1.03% to 2% – or over 1100 cars.

Honda’s sales figures confirm the regional growth, with a third of recent orders for its Hybrid coming from London and the South East – influenced largely by the impact of congestion charging on buying habits in and around the capital.

Worldwide sales of Honda hybrids have reached over 185,000, and the Japanese manufacturer is set to launch a concept hybrid sports car in March.