Even the most environmentally friendly of vans will be forced to continue paying the London Congestion Charge next year after Transport for London stated that they did not believe a levy on the fee would encourage manufacturers to produce greater numbers of green commercial vehicles.
Despite the best efforts of manufacturers to cut the emissions of vans, there is a strict threshold in place currently which limits the number of vehicles exempt from the charge. The threshold for emissions stands at 100g/km which only the Ford Fiesta Van currently meets, apart of course from all of the electrical vehicles which exist.
A spokesman from Transport for London explained the decision: “Transport for London considers it unlikely that a congestion charge discount would provide a sizeable enough incentive in what is a particularly competitive market where manufacturers are already striving to produce fuel efficient vehicles.”
Under changes to the scheme which are due to come into force on 4 January 2011, passenger cars which produce up to 100g/km of CO2 and meet the Euro 5 standard for air quality will not be liable to pay the charge, which is set to increase from £8 to £10 per day.
Transport for London admitted that because the DVLA does not record the CO2 limit of vans and HGVs, it would be difficult to control a Greener Vehicle Discount for commercial vehicles.
Vans however, are included in the 100% discount available on electric vehicles, which Transport for London is in the process of extending to cover plug-in hybrid electric vehicles from next year.
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