Following campaigning from the Freight Transport Association, Mayor Livingstone has agreed to discounts on congestion charging for the cleanest Euro 5 vehicles and an extension of discounts for LPG and CNG powered vehicles. The agreement was part of a package of measures that included the introduction of a CO2-related charging regime for the London congestion charge zone.
Operators of Euro 5 HGVs will be able to apply for a discounted rate of £6 per day for up to two years from 27 October 2008 (new applications will close in October 2009). This will only apply to those vehicles that include on-board diagnostics (OBD), which were left off certain early Euro 5 models.
Those HGVs running on CNG or LPG will continue to benefit from a 100 per cent discount until 11 January 2010 after which they can benefit from the same £6 deal as Euro 5 vehicles. No new registrations for gas-powered vehicles can be made after 27 October 2008.
For vans between 1.2 and 3.5 tonnes there is a similar arrangement but the timetable is longer. Euro 5 vans will be able to apply for and benefit from the £6 rate from 27 October 2008 until 1 January 2012.
Vans currently running on LPG can continue to benefit from the 100 per cent discount until 27 October 2009 and can then switch to the £6 rate thereafter. However, there will be no new LPG vehicle registrations added to the scheme after 27 October 2008.
Gordon Telling, FTA's Head of Policy for London, South East & East of England said, 'This is excellent news for conscientious operators who want to do more to improve air quality. We lobbied hard to get this discount in place and again to have the timelines extended from one to two years for Euro 5 HGVs during the consultation.
'A small operator with fewer than ten vehicles can now enjoy a saving of up to £1,000 for each Euro 5 HGV and up to £1,600 for each Euro 5 van. This is on top of the existing discounts in VED that qualifying Euro 5 vehicles enjoy.
'It is a shame that operators who made an early commitment to air quality by buying the first Euro 5 vehicles without OBD cannot share in this incentive but we will continue to lobby HM Treasury for this to be changed. FTA is also working closely with TfL to agree future arrangements for congestion charge discounts post-Euro 5 once the even cleaner Euro 6 vehicles begin to come to market. This strategy is part of FTA's ongoing work to reduce unnecessary compliance costs for operators serving London's businesses and residents.'
Progress in reducing emissions has been made over the last 15 years. Euro 1 represented the end of black smoke from diesel exhausts and the progress since then has continued such that 30 Euro 4 vehicles today will only emit the same particulates as one Euro 1 vehicle in 1993. Particulate level, which is the visible part of the exhaust emissions, was reduced by over 80 per cent from dark haze to achieve the Euro 3 level. Levels reduced by a further 80 per cent to achieve Euro 4 emission levels. Euro 5, from October 2009, will not require any further reduction in carbon monoxide or particulates but will require a 43 per cent reduction in NOx.
EU engine standards were introduced for new vehicles registered as follows:
Euro 0 – October 1991 – no limits specified
Euro 1 – October 1993 – PM limit 0.621 g/kWh, NOx 8 g/kWh
Euro 2 – October 1997 – PM 0.25, NOx 7
Euro 3 – October 2001 – PM 0.1, NOx 5
Euro 4 – October 2006 – PM 0.02, NOx 3.5
Euro 5 – October 2009 – PM 0.02, NOx 2