RAC Cars News


London Prepares For ULEZ

By raccars Published

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Residents of the capital are being prepared for the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone scheme, which comes into place on 7th September 2020. The scheme requires all vehicles entering the current congestion charge zone to comply with a set of emissions limits, in an effort to reduce air pollution in the city.

Diesel car owners will be the most affected by the ULEZ, which stipulates that entry to the zone will only be free for Euro 6 compliant diesel engines. Vehicles which do not meet Euro 6 emissions standards will still be permitted to enter the zone at a charge of £12.50 per day, in addition to the standard congestion charge of £11.50. Buses and HGVs which are not Euro 6 compliant will have to pay the congestion charge plus an additional £100 to enter the ULEZ.

Conditions are more relaxed for petrol powered vehicles, which can enter the ULEZ free of charge if they meet Euro 4 emissions standards. Motorbikes will be subject to Euro 3 emissions standards.

Transport for London (TfL) will be using 3,000 hybrid double decker buses and 300 single deck zero emissions buses within the zone, powered by hydrogen or batteries. Private hire vehicles and taxis will also be subject to new legislation, stipulating that newly licensed taxis must have zero emissions capability to a minimum range of 30 miles and CO2 emissions of no more than 50g/km from 1st January 2018. Conditions are similar for private hire vehicles. TfL will be installing a rapid charging network by the time the new rules are in place, to support the move.

The ULEZ charges will not apply to vehicles which enter the 'historic vehicle' VED class, which are those first registered pre-1st January 1973.

TfL and the Greater London Authority are hoping that the ULEZ will encourage residents of the Greater London area to invest in hybrid plug-ins or EVs. It is urging local authorities to support the introduction of ULEVs (ultra low emissions vehicles) with the installation of public charging points. At the moment, the lack of infrastructure is one of the capital's main obstacles preventing the widespread uptake of ULEVs by the car buying public.

As part of a 'delivery plan' to prepare the capital for the ULEZ, support vehicles for the London Fire Brigade will be replaced by electric vehicles next year, while manufacturers are being urged to push on with the development of zero emissions fire engines.

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