Electric vehicle drivers get some not-so-good news in London

Danny (of Danny's Contentment) is just the messenger here, so don't go hounding him if you're angry about the bad news that Transport for London announced today. While some automakers will probably be pleased with the change, electric car proponents like Danny see this as a potential nail in the EV coffin.
Here's the deal:

The updated rules don't give electric cars special status with regards to the London congestion charge. Instead, these vehicles are grouped into a low-CO2 vehicle category with all cars that "Produce less than 120g/km CO2 and meet the Euro 4 standard for air pollution emissions OR Produce no more than 120g/km of CO2, and appear on the PowerShift register." All of these cars will be exempt from the charges (rates vary between £8 and £25, depending on vehicle size and CO2 emissions).

Transport for London said that the goal of the Greater London (Central Zone) Congestion Charging is to:
  • Encourage drivers within the charging zone to travel in vehicles which produce lower levels of carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Discourage the use of vehicles with high CO2 emissions
  • The primary aim of Congestion Charging remains to tackle congestion and encourage drivers to shift from private vehicles to public transport, walking and cycling.
While that last bullet point is certainly noble, I share Danny's concern that grouping low-CO2 cars with EVs removes one great benefit for drivers in London who were considering getting an all-electric vehicle. We'll keep watching and see how this affects EV and low-CO2 vehicle sales in the UK. Full details of the rule changes are here.

[Source: Transport for London]

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