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London’s new Ultra Low-Emission Zone could eventually benefit some van operators
The Vauxhall Corsavan 1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX with Start/Stop doesn’t quite meet the new 75g/km Ultra-Low Emission Zone ceiling

LONDON’s new Ultra Low-Emission Zone will come into effect on 1 July 2013 and provide a single 100% discount from the London Congestion Charge for all-electric and ultra low-emission vans.

Some van operators could eventually stand to benefit, though, as it includes diesel vans.

The current discount is available to only pure electric vans. But the new Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED) will also include:

  • Ultra low-emission vans with CO2 emissions of 75g/km or less that meet the Euro 5 emission standard for air quality
  • Plug-in hybrid vans with a minimum range of 10 miles in ‘electric’ mode and a maximum speed of at least 50mph.
  • TfL will publish a list of eligible vehicles.

Currently no vans meet either of the two new discount criteria. The 83.1mpg Vauxhall Corsavan 1.3 CDTi ecoFLEX with Start/Stop and Ford’s 87g/km Fiesta (see Business Vans review for the Fiesta) come closest, but there are no plug-in hybrid vans yet.

However, with manufacturers constantly striving for lower emissions, 75g/km can’t be far away.

The ULED replaces the current Greener Vehicle Discount (GVD) and the Electric Vehicle Discount, although anyone registered for the latter will automatically be transferred to the new ULED.

Pure electric commercial vehicles that are currently eligible for the Electric Vehicle Discount all qualify for the new Ultra Low Emission Discount.

  • A pure electric vehicle uses an electric motor for propulsion, powered by energy stored in a battery, and without any petrol or diesel fuel.
  • A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses a rechargeable battery pack that can be charged from an external source, in addition to a conventional petrol or diesel engine.

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