On 26 July 2017, the Government launched its Air Quality Plan as it unveiled its strategy to tackle rising air pollution. The part that grabbed most headlines concerned a ban on the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040.
This sounds dramatic, but much of the industry is ahead of the game. Major manufacturers such as Volvo have announced their commitment to electric-only production, whilst Jaguar and others have committed to making only electric or hybrid vehicles from as soon as 2020.
The true impact of the Air Quality Plan will go far beyond the eye-catching headlines. It will create a number of strategic actions for fleets to consider, such as whether to add alternatively fuelled vehicles to their policy. For better or worse, decisions made today could impact your fleet for years to come, so it is vital to be prepared for the changes and have a plan in place.
Where are the Ultra-Low Emission Zones?
The most pressing issue for fleets concerns the impending introduction of the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and regional Clean Air Zones, and the subsequent impact on running costs within current lease periods. As the name suggests, these zones are areas where all vehicles travelling within them must meet European exhaust emissions standards or potentially pay a fee.
London will come onboard in April 2019. The Government has mandated five further zones to follow in April 2020: Southampton, Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham and Derby. A further 23+ urban areas are also forecast to exceed legal limits for air pollution by 2020 and may follow suit.
How much will it cost to drive in an Ultra-Low Emission Zone?
A charge of £12.50 a day will apply for vehicles that enter the London ULEZ and do not meet the following standards:
Euro 4 for petrol cars, vans and minibuses
Euro 6 for diesel cars, vans and minibuses
Euro VI for lorries, buses and coaches
For regional Clean Air Zones, consultations are on-going and they may or may not introduce charging.
Key questions for fleet operators
We are working with our customers every day to understand the impacts of the Air Quality Plan with the dual aims of avoiding any potential costs and getting them ready for the future. The questions we are asking them include:
- Are you aware that the impact of operating a Euro 5 diesel vehicle in London could be over £3000 per year? (Calculation based on £12.50 a day, over 240 operating days a year i.e 48 weeks a year for 5 days a week.)
- Did you know that Westminster are currently trialling an increase in parking charges for pre-2015 diesel cars and vans? An additional £2.45 per hour is applied under the ‘Low Emission Neighbourhood’ scheme. This follows emission based parking changes in Merton, Hackney, Islington, and Kensington and Chelsea boroughs.
- Do you have a clear view on the roll out and increasing choice of alternatively fuelled vehicles over the next two years, and their suitability to your fleet?
- Would you like to know more about the infrastructure that your fleet would need to support a move to Ultra Low Emission vehicles?
Fill in the contact form below, and let us come and talk to you about how we are helping our customers have a plan for the plan.