Clean Air Zones and the move to electric vehicles
You may have seen the Birmingham clean air zone featured in the news recently as it was announced that higher polluting cars will be charged to travel in the city from the start of next year.
Birmingham has been told to introduce a Clean Air Zone by the Government in a bid to reduce levels of NO2 and improve air quality.
London went live with its Ultra Low Emission Zone in April this year and other cities are expected to follow suit with similar schemes in the coming months and years.
Birmingham City Council is expected to introduce its Clean Air Zone from January 2020 to include all roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road, but not the Middleway itself.
What is a Clean Air Zone (CAZ)?
The CAZ aims to discourage, but not ban, the highest polluting vehicles from entering the city.
Those with engines that aren’t deemed to be clean enough will pay a daily charge set at:
Cars, taxis, LGVs – £8 per day
HGVs, coaches, buses – £50 per day
It will operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Who does the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) charge apply to?
The charge will apply to all vehicles which do not meet certain standards, depending on the type of fuel.
The criteria your car needs to meet are:
- Diesel – Euro 6 (VI) standard or better (most new registrations after 1 September 2015)
- Petrol or LPG added to original petrol engine – Euro 4 standard or better (most new registrations after 1 January 2006)
- Gas – Euro 6 (VI) standard or better
- Fully electric or hydrogen fuel cell – all are compliant and avoid CAZ charges
- Hybrid electric – the diesel/petrol engine must meet the relevant criteria above
There are various exemptions, support, or delays in the charges, such as for people who live or work in the zone who are on lower incomes, businesses in the zone, taxi drivers, blue badge holders, some key workers and specialist vehicles such as military and historic vehicles. For a list of all exemptions, visit the Birmingham City Council website.
Saving money with an electric vehicle
The overriding aim of Clean Air Zones and Ultra Low Emission Zones, ultimately, is to push people towards electric vehicles in line with the Government’s green transport revolution.
And not only does choosing electric benefit the environment, it also now pays to drive an electric vehicle in the long term.
As part of its Clean Air Zone consultation, Birmingham City Council worked out that the owner of an electric car, travelling an average 7,800 miles per year, would save more than £1,000 a year in fuel and taxes when compared to a Euro 4 petrol car. At the same time, they would be preventing more than two tonnes of carbon dioxide from being pumped into the atmosphere.
While the upfront costs of an electric vehicle may be more, you’ll reap the rewards over the long term. Plus, there are Government grants for electric vehicles and, of course, as Government OLEV-approved electric vehicle charger installers, we can also help you secure grants for electric car charge points at your home or workplace.
Contact the Car Charging Company for more information or an electric vehicle charger installation quote now.