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PHOTO CAPTION: London Congestion Zone signs.

London to Implement World's First Ultra-Low Emission Zone

Starting in 2020, driving fossil fuel cars in central London will get more expensive as the ciy's Ultra Low Emission Zone takes effect.

Published: 27-Mar-2015

London, England is the first major global city to implement fees for driving within its borders. Called a Congestion Charge, in order to drive within its precincts without being charged you have to drive, as a private citizen, hybrids, electric cars or other low-emission vehicles. Everyone else has to pay £11.50 daily charge ($17USD).

Starting on September 7, 2020, driving within the most heavily congested and, unfortunately, most polluted, sector of the city will get even more expensive: cars not meeting ULEZ standards, will be charged £12.50 daily. To meet the new standard, petrol/gasoline fueled vehicles will have to be newer than 2006 models and meet Euro 4 exhaust emissions regulations. For diesel owners, their vehicles have to meet Euro 6 standards, which don't take effect until this September. Resident within and on the immediate periphery of the zone have a 3-year 'sunset period' with compliance expected by 2023.

According to today's press release, SMMT, the UK car industry trade group, supports the move. Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, stating, “The London ULEZ will play a key role in driving the market for ultra low emission vehicles in Europe’s leading mega city, and set a precedent not only in the UK but around the world."

The same group reported earlier this year sales of ultra low emission vehicles - including electric cars and hybrids – rose by 58% in 2014, with 51,739 new AFVs registered. Additionally, in February of this year, sales of both pure electric and electric hybrids (PHEVs) grew 12% over-over-year, the 36th consecutive month of EV sales growth.

map of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone

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