National government is undoubtedly committed to a zero carbon economy but it’s uncertain whether enough has been done to support the businesses that will have to buy in and then adapt to this vision.
Last month the UK hosted the world's first Zero Emission Vehicle Summit where the Prime Minister outlined funding plans to help push the UK’s influence on the design and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles. They want all new cars and vans to be effectively zero-emission by 2040, so it remains to be seen whether reducing the Plug-in grant by £1,000 for pure electric will have a detrimental impact on sales. In reality the biggest impact for commercial car users may be felt by the total removal of support for plug-in hybrids especially for businesses which required the additional security of emergency extended range. These formed the majority of the 160,000 grants provided since 2011 and could be considered excellent bridging vehicles for businesses testing the practicality of an alternatively fuelled vehicle. Let’s hope the government have read market conditions correctly.
The last few years at LoCITY have taught us that establishing fact from fiction ensures the majority of people understand the basics before committing to new technology. That’s why we’ve launched the new Fuel Facts website [https://fuelfacts.locity.org.uk/ ] which answers common queries. Like most of our tools it is work in progress which we will develop if you find it useful.
With the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) on the horizon small business owners in particular may find it a little more difficult than others to acquire compliant small vans. Transport for London and the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association are running an event in Southwark, London on Friday 16 November to help promote affordable compliant vans to those who need them. Email us at LoCITY@tfl.gov.uk if you’d like to attend.
If you can’t make it then we will be sharing what other operators are doing in the run up to April. Whether that’s increasing the use of cargo bikes, swapping Euro 6 vans around in the fleet or just passing on the additional costs to clients. LoCITY’s role is to help signpost how policymakers are trying to influence businesses and vice versa. ULEZ is stepping beyond national government to clean up London’s air. For this reason it’ll be bumpy whilst we adapt but has the potential to directly improve the lives of millions of people everyday.