First promised late last year, London has opened its scrapping fund to help microbusinesses and charities get rid of their older vans and minibuses and switch to cleaner vehicles. Worth 23 million pounds, the “scrap for cash” options are more attractive than expected.
Small businesses and charities may ask the Mayor of London office to pay 6,000 pounds towards buying a new electric vehicle. Payment of £3,500 is offered to scrap a van or minibus which can be used to purchase a more modern Euro 6 vehicle compliant with ULEZ.
Talking about ULEZ – the Ultra Low Emission Zone will soon cover central London and is one of the driving forces behind the timing of the new grant. There are just six weeks to go until the ULEZ will be widened. Starting on 8 April and 17 months earlier than planned, driving through the ULEZ will then incur a £12.50 charge for petrol vehicles that fail to meet Euro 4 emissions standards and diesel vehicles below Euro 6. The ULEZ will then apply 24/7 and all year long. While this is a welcome environmental policy, it naturally has social side effects, hence the new scheme.
The British Government already offer grants to cover the capital cost of electric vans. These grants reduce the cost of an electric van by up to 20 per cent or a maximum of £8,000. The Mayor’s scheme has been designed to complement this support and aims to help microbusinesses (defined as those with 10 or fewer employees) and registered charities. These will have to be registered in London or have been frequently observed driving in the Congestion Charging Zone to be eligible for the new scrappage grant.
London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone will be expanded up to the North and South Circular boundary in 2021. The new ULEZ will then cover an area 18 times larger than the current one.