Non-EVs Losing London Charge Exemptions From 2021

London’s mayor and transit authority are removing exemptions from the city’s congestion charge for all non-zero-emission vehicles from 2019 and all non-electric vehicles from 2021.

The move will boost London’s iconic black cabs, which are being mandated to run electrically, despite drivers’ complaints about a lack of accompanying charging technology. It was announced by Transport for London (TfL) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan as part of their plans to introduce an “ultra-low emissions zone” next April, which is when the exemptions for non-ZEVs will end.

Exemptions for any non-“pure” EVs will be terminated in October 2021, with exemptions from the charge being abolished altogether in December 2025. TfL claimed the move would “incentivize only the cleanest vehicles to drive in central London”, despite research suggesting EVs can be just as ‘dirty’ as cars running off internal combustion engines. Private hire vehicles will lose their congestion charge exemptions if they are unable to prove zero-emissions capabilities.

Since January, diesel-run black cabs have been banned by TfL and all new ones must be electric. Khan says he wants to cut these vehicles’ emissions by 65% by 2025 because they are responsible for 20% of London’s nitrous oxide emissions. To this end, he is now unveiling an “enhanced delicensing fund” he claims will pay drivers “up to £10,000” for trading in diesel-run cabs early.


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