London tackles air pollution with further restrictions and subsidies. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) have made changes to the congestion charge that applies to central London roads. PHEVs and private hire vehicles such as Uber cars will lose their exemption after 2021.
After only just announcing a vehicle scrappage scheme, now further measures have also been revealed. Firstly, as of April 9, 2019, exemptions to the congestion charge will only apply to vehicles that meet the Euro 6 emission standard, emit no more than 75g/km and have a minimum 20-mile zero emission capable range.
From October 25, 2021, to December 24, 2025, only entirely zero-emissions vehicles will be eligible for the cleaner vehicle discount (CVD). All other vehicles will need to pay the congestion charge unless they are registered for another discount or have an exemption.
Since the start of 2018 new diesel taxis have been barred operating on from London’s streets. However, a recent analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation shows that real-world emissions from London taxis are seven times the laboratory limits, far exceeding passenger diesel cars. Taxis are currently responsible for 20% of harmful NOx emissions and by 2020 they will be the biggest source of transport pollution in central London.
Therefore, incoming rules require new cabs to be either plug-in hybrid or completely emissions-free and more than 9,000 electric taxis (about half the current fleet of black cabs), are expected on London’s roads by 2021 reportedly.
In view of these challenges, the City has installed 150 rapid-charge points and are offering generous grants of £7,500 (roughly 8,300 euros) to help taxi drivers move onto electric drives. There are now nearly 1,000 taxis capable of zero-emission in the fleet. A £2.5 million fund (about 2.8 million euros) has also been started to help drivers of newer Euro 5 taxis to convert to much cleaner LPG fuel
The stated aim is to reduce taxi emissions by 65% in 2025 in London.