Fewer congestion charge exemptions

C as in cutting emissions from cars. Photo: flickr.com NordicLondon cc by-nc

From 1 July, new cars in London will no longer be able to be registered for the Greener Vehicle Discount which gave cars with emissions under 100 grams of CO2 per kilometre the right to pass through the city without paying the London congestion charge.

Instead, new car buyers will be able to register their cars under the new Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED), provided that the cars meet Euro 5 emission regulations and meet a stricter CO2 limit of 75g/km.

Currently no combustion-only cars actually meet this criteria, so only buyers of plug-in hybrids or fully electric cars will be able to register for exemption.

The changes to the congestion charge were proposed last year as part of plans to reduce diesel car emissions in the city. The rising popularity of diesel cars – which emit much more of another air pollutant, nitrogen oxides, per kilometre driven compared to petrol cars – has been blamed for contributing to London failing to meet the legally binding air quality standards for nitrogen dioxide (NO2). With plenty of diesel cars emitting just below the 100 g/km CO2 limit and thus qualifying for charge exemption, the Mayor’s office wanted to tighten the rules to tackle the problem.

Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor of London’s advisor on the Environment, said: “These changes are in line with the Mayor’s aim to improve air quality in London by reducing emissions from private vehicles and promoting the further development of low-emission vehicles. We want to encourage the continued development of these technologies, while also protecting the benefits to traffic flow in the centre of London that the charge provides.”

Source: TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk, 1 July 2013

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