Germany's transport minister, Wolfgang Tiefensee, has said that he hopes a new CO2-based car taxation system will be in force by the beginning of 2009 at the latest.

He was speaking at a meeting of Germany's metalworking union, IG Metall, on the sidelines of the Frankfurt motor show, reported dpa-AFX. He said that he would hope that it could come much earlier, perhaps by the middle of 2008.

One big hurdle that has to be overcome is gaining the agreement of the individual states which are currently responsible for vehicle taxation. In this respect the country's finance minister, Peer Steinbrück, still has some difficult negotiations ahead. The states want the new tax system to have a neutral impact on their income.

Tiefensee would not give any further details regarding the possible level of taxation or what form it would take.

The UK has a seven-band graduated scale of annual road tax charges based on fuel type and 'official' EU test cycle CO2 emissions. It was introduced for cars and light vehicles first registered after 1 March 2001.