Do you know your Clean Air Zones from your LEZs or ULEZs

Do you know your Clean Air Zones from your LEZs or ULEZs

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Do you know your Clean Air Zones from your LEZs or ULEZs

Get to grips with Clean Air Zones, Low Emission Zones and ULEZ.

It might not have gone unnoticed, but businesses who regularly travel within the largest cities in the UK are facing an added cost due to the emergence of low emission zones. 

With NO2 emissions a contributing factor to hundreds of deaths in some of our biggest cities, local authorities both have a legal and moral obligation to reduce emission levels. 

To do this, a number of very similar initiatives have been introduced to combat emission levels. 

Reducing Emissions in city centres

We already had the ULEZ (Ultra-low Emission Zone) in London, whilst Glasgow introduced a Low Emission Zone for it’s buses back in 2018 – but 2021 has also seen the introduction of Clean Air Zones in Bath, Birmingham and Portsmouth – as well as an extension to the existing ULEZ.

In 2022 – even more Clean Air Zones will roll out, whilst in Scotland, there will be an expansion to the Glasgow Low Emission Zone to include all vehicles, whilst similar Low Emission Zones will be introduced in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Basically – the world is FINALLY going low-emission crazy.

But as you can see, CAZs, ULEZ, LEZ (and that’s not to mention Oxford piloting a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ)) all these letters and zones can become confusing – and if you are a business operating vehicles in one or more of these cities, planning could become quite complex and bogged down. 

Let The Fleet Adviser Help You with our Definitive Guide

To help you battle through the ever-shifting landscape of CAZs, LEZs, ULEZ and ZEZs, we have put together a useful “definitive guide” section on our Vehicle Guide Website. 

In our guide we provide; 

  • information on each individual zone including minimum requirements, when the zone goes live, what type of zone it is, a map of the zone area and links to useful websites.
  • faqs section answering some of the commonly asked questions – from how are the zones monitored to how do you pay.
  • useful links to payment portals for the relevant zones as well a link to creating a business account if you wish to register more than one vehicle for Clean Air Zones.

 

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Clean Air Zone Guide Issued for Fleet Operators

Clean Air Zone Guide Issued for Fleet Operators

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Clean Air Zone Guide Issued for Fleet Operators

AFP Produce Helpful CAZ Guide For Fleet Operators

If you are a member of the Association of Fleet Professionals you should soon be receiving your copy of “Clean Air Zones and Your Fleet”.

The guide, put together by the AFP, is designed to look at the practical elements of running a fleet within Clean Air Zones.

From managing drivers to paying the charges, the guide aims to be a “go-to” referral point for all things CAZ.

Dealing with the Demands of CAZ

Debbie Floyde, chair of the AFP’s Future Roads Committee said;

“We’re now at a point in time when fleet managers are having to deal with the demands of CAZs on a daily basis and best practise themes are emerging, so the Future Roads Committee has worked to gather ideas from across the AFP for inclusion in the new document.”

Whilst the guide is being sent out to all association members, if you aren’t a member you can request one by emailing administration@theafp.co.uk.

Of course, as always – if anyone has in questions about Clean Air Zones they need help with right now, then please feel free to leave us a comment below and one of our panel will be glad to help you.
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A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 15th – 21st June 2021

A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 15th – 21st June 2021

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A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 15th – 21st June 2021

Here is the news from the ever-evolving world of fleet vehicles. This week there is big news from BMW, VW, Daimler and another Clean Air Zone is confirmed to start.

BMW begin trialling hydrogen fuel cell technology to provide “attractive option”.

We start with some really promising news. BMW engineers have begun road-testing it’s new hydrogen fuel cell technology in it’s i-Hydrogen Next prototype based on their X5 SUV model.

This exciting development is something seen as crucial by the company as part of the on-going development towards cleaner energy.

Frank Weber, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Development said;

“Hydrogen fuel cell technology can be an attractive option for sustainable drive trains – especially in larger vehicle classes. That is why road testing of near-standard vehicles with a hydrogen fuel cell drive train is an important milestone in our research and development efforts.”

The technology has the potential to supplement internal combustion engines, plug-in hybrids and electric-battery engines, as it is able to produce a whopping 374ps total output.

The upshot of the technology though is that it could offer a real alternative to those who do not have their own access to an electric charging infrastructure, or who are regularly making long journeys.

If the testing goes as hoped, then a small fleet of vehicles will be produced next year for more extensive testing. Should this testing go as hoped, full production could begin in 2025.

More Government Help Needed in EV Roll-out say Electric Fleets Coalition.

The Electric Fleets Coalition has put together a policy document intended for Government to highlight the main issues that affect switching to Electric Vehicles– along with some suggestions on how these issues can be tackled.

The coalition – which includes 5 of the big leasing firms as well as huge fleet businesses like BT, Royal Mail, DPD, Centrica and another 30+ similar businesses – are asking the Government to show leadership and tackle these issues in a bid to make the transition smoother and quicker.

Some of the issues highlighted include;

• Zero Emission Vehicle production levels
• Keeping CO2 regulations competitive to those in the EU
• EV Grant certainty and fairness
• 0% Vat on second hand Zero Emission Vehicles
• Improvements in availability and overall infrastructure for electric vehicle charging.

We will of course keep you posted on the Government’s review of the document presented to them.

VW and Daimler cut hours due to semiconductor shortage

The well-documented shortage of semiconductor microchips has lead to VW and Daimler being the latest manufacturers to cut hours at some of their factories.

VW are cutting hours at their Wolfsburg factory, whilst Daimler is doing the same at it’s Dresden and Rastatt factories.

These issues mean that deliveries of some new cars are taking 3-6 months, with some new vans not available now until 2022.

VW’s chief executive, Herbert Diess said they were in “crisis mode”, whilst a Daimler spokesperson said last week that the situation was “volatile”, and it was not possible to make a forecast on the impact.

Half of NHS Trusts have Electric Vehicle Charging Points installed

In more positive news, half of NHS Trusts now have Electric Vehicle Charging Points installed on their sites for staff, patients and wider community use.

In addition to this, a further 43% have either already approved plans to install in the next 5 years – or are in early-stage planning for installation.

Power Management company Eaton carried out the Freedom of Information research.

The willingness of the overwhelming majority of Trusts to shift to EV charging sends out a positive message.

The research also highlights that many of the Trusts also recognise the opportunity to generate revenue from the charging infrastructure. Infact 11% of Trusts are already selling electricity back to the grid.

Hidden cost of wing-mirror damage estimated in VW Commercial Vehicles survey.

I’m sure we’ve all been there. Coming back to a vehicle that has had it’s wing-mirror damaged can be infuriating. For van drivers though, it seems it is quite a common occurrence.

In a recent survey of 1000 van drivers, VW Commercial Vehicles found that almost two thirds (62%) have had their wing-mirrors clipped either driving in narrow streets or whilst parked.

The survey also found that almost a third of drivers have had multiple incidents with their wing-mirrors.

VW Commercial Vehicles say the most common repairs carried out by their technicians is to the mirror units and glass – with almost ten times more repairs than any other part.

The research estimates the total lifetime cost to repairs of all wing-mirrors to be the rather eye-watering sum of £655m. Ouch!

Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone gets go ahead.

Plans to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) to Greater Manchester has taken another step nearer it was announced on Monday.

Following the launch of CAZs in Bath and Birmingham recently, Greater Manchester was due to follow later this year, but following the COVID pandemic, plans have been put back to Spring 2022 for Heavy Goods Vehicles and buses – with other vehicles to follow in 2023.

To aid with the transition the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (covering it’s 10 boroughs) has received £150m in support.

Andy Burnham – mayor for Greater Manchester – said:

“Coming out of the pandemic, I think we’ve got to get a lot more serious about people’s health and health inequalities that we have in this city region and across the country. We just shouldn’t accept any more things that harm the health of our residents. It’s a fact that it’s the poorest kids in the poorest communities that have to breathe in the most polluted air.”

For more information about the Clean Air Zones or electric vehicles, we have a page of useful links and resources in our “Green Room” section of our site. Click the button below to visit. 

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A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 8th-14th June 2021

A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 8th-14th June 2021

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A Fleeting Glance – News Round-up | 8th-14th June 2021

Here’s the first in our new series of weekly round-ups of news items for all things fleet over the last seven days.

Bosch to open Semi-Conductor Factory

With the well-documented “semi-conductor” shortage affecting many industries, most notable automotive production – Bosch has announced welcome news of opening a new factory in Dresden, Germany, to focus specifically on semi-conductor production.

The €1 billion (£860m) semiconductor fabrication facility is the largest single investment the company has ever made.

Production starts as early as July –with the first semiconductors made in the new plant to be installed in Bosch power tools. Production for chips for the automotive industry will begin in September.

First “BP Pulse Rapid Charging Hub” Opens in London

The first BP Pulse rapid charging hub for fleet vehicles is now available in the UK. Situated on Park Lane, London, Uber are among its first customers.

With rapid charging available for 10 vehicles simultaneously – BP Pulse plans to more than double its capacity in the coming months and then look to roll-out similar hubs in major Cities across the UK.

Study shows fleet vehicle increase since start of pandemic

A survey by Opinion Matters has revealed some rather interesting statistics in relation to fleet vehicle usage since the pandemic started.

The first interesting point – and somewhat predictable – is that 80% of businesses surveyed have had to adjust their businesses since lockdown.

This has lead to several knock-on effects. The most notable changes are that a quarter of the businesses surveyed has added more vehicles to their fleet (or had to get vehicles) whilst a similar number reported an increase in fleet management running costs.

There has also been a huge shift in how fleets are managed – with almost half surveyed switching vehicle management systems and a third have digitalised their fleet.

What is blatantly obvious is that the shift in business needs is placing a greater emphasis on the role of fleet managers and understanding of fleet vehicles.

Peugeot Charged with Diesel Emission Fraud

Another week, another major vehicle manufacturer has been charged with diesel emission fraud.
French authorities have brought the charges against Peugeot following an investigation into vehicles manufactured between 2009-2015.

Following hot on the heels of fellow French rivals Citroen, investigators say that their investigations found some of the cars produced on-the-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions more than 10 times regulatory limits for some models.

BVRLA Highlight Lack of New Vans Is Genuine Concern

The issue in the supply in new vans – particularly for the rental and leasing sectors – is something we have touched on recently, and our concerns are shared by the BVRLA.

Following a survey carried out in May, 90% of respondents said the supply of vans was a problem. Worryingly – almost half of those said it was an extreme barrier when trying to meet customer needs.

The Chief Exec of the BVRLA said

“The van parc is growing exponentially at a rate double that of cars, yet the supply of battery electric vans is an acute problem. Although we have seen an increase in the number of makes and models coming to market, there is a particular dearth of vans capable of long ranges or towing.

“Vans play a vital role in the UK economy with one in ten workers relying on a one to do their job. A special focus on vans is needed if this sector is to achieve parity with the more developed electric car market and the BVRLA will be making recommendations to Government.”

The silver lining though was that most of those surveyed did anticipate things to improve significantly over the next 6 months.

Royal Mail Commit to 3000 More Electric Fleet Vehicles

Following the roll-out of Clean Air Zones, Royal Mail have added a further 3000 electric vehicles in addition to their existing 300 plug-in vehicles.

The new vehicles will be concentrating in the areas with Clean Air Zones and will be being to be used from October onwards.

Working with Peugeot and Mercedes, the Peugeot e-Expert, Mercedes e-Vito and e-Sprinter have been chosen as Royal Mail to ensure a low-emissions per parcel service.

This news comes just days after DPD announced they had order 750 electric vehicles from Maxus, doubling it’s electric fleet to 1500.

And finally….

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe Is Now Available for Orders

The eagerly-anticipated BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is now available for orders pending it’s arrival in the UK in November.

The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe combines some of the practicality of the 4 series into the fun and vigour of a 4 Series Coupe – bringing the best of a lot of worlds into one and making it equally adept for business and pleasure.

With prices starting from £40,465, it comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines, an 8-speed automatic gearbox fitted as standard and the option of rear or all-wheel drive.

We will of course be reviewing the car in more detail this summer and give it the full Fleet Adviser overall review treatment.

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Clean Air Zones – Where they will be and what it means for your business?

Clean Air Zones – Where they will be and what it means for your business?

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Clean Air Zones – Where they will be and what it means for your business?

Clean Air Zones – What they are and how they will affect your business.

You may have seen the acronym CAZ being bandied about in relation to vehicles – and wondering what the fuss is. Or – you may know that CAZ stands for “Clean Air Zone” but are still wondering what it means for you.

Well now we can help you understand a little more where the Clean Air Zones will be, and what it means for your business.

What is a Clean Air Zone?

Clean Air Zone’s are designated areas which have been targeted for improvement in air quality. These are made up of well populated towns and cities in the UK – and even single stretches of heavily-trafficked roads.

In terms of how these zones will “clean up the air” – there is a daily levy which will come into play for certain vehicles being used in these designated areas. The levies will be payable by vehicles which do not meet the emission standards required to be exempt.

You can check if your vehicles are exempt or not on the Gov.uk website. This is a particularly useful tool if you have a fleet of vehicles as you can create an account and upload your vehicles using a .csv spreadsheet to check multiple vehicles at once.

Where are the Clean Air Zones?

The first Clean Air Zone is in Bath – no pun on getting clean! It comes into effect on the 15th March this year. Next up will be Birmingham – on 1st June.

To see more about the areas which are going to be introducing the Clean Air Zones then there is a map with more information on each area on the BVRLA website.

The rest of the Clean Air Zones will be phased in over the next 12-18 months.

In addition to this, the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) in London is also due to be expanded in the Autumn this year.

What this means for your business?

If your vehicles are frequently in – or passing through – the Clean Air Zone areas and your vehicles don’t meet the emissions criteria to be exempt, then the most obvious implication is cost.

In terms of what it costs, rather than having one flat fee across the board, it will vary slightly in each area.

There is a reason for this.

The cost of implementing the scheme will vary from area to area due to it’s size, populace and other factors influencing the running cost. However, local authorities are only allowed to charge enough to cover the costs of running the scheme in their area and it is not to be used for making money.

What are the Clean Zone Area charges?

Typical daily charges are around £8-10 for any non-compliant cars, taxis and vans – whilst HGV and buses could be paying as much as £50 a day (based on Birmingham’s plans) – whilst London is £12 for cars and vans.

Obviously, the cost to your business will depend on how many vehicles you have and how many journeys you make into Clean Air Zone areas. The fact is you could be looking at quite substantial additional amounts to be paying out for the same things you are doing now.

If you have 10 cars or vans each paying an average of £9 a day for say 200 days a year it would be £18000 a year extra.

There is also a fine of £120 for not paying – and the zones will be monitored by cameras.

Other considerations affecting planning

As well as varying costs, there are also differing restrictions in each area.

Some areas will apply their Clean Air Zone between certain times (e.g. 7am-7pm). Some areas won’t charge private cars (as proposed in Newcastle).

There are some areas that will not have a Clean Air Zone, but will instead issue fines for excessive idling – as proposed in St. Albans.

Other areas are looking at banning diesel cars and vans altogether.

This could make planning your journeys and managing costs a bit of a minefield.

In Conclusion

There is a lot to take on board with the introduction of the Clean Air Zone area changes.

The variations in restrictions and charges could make it complicated to manage, particularly if you have a mixture of vehicles travelling to different areas.

The options for businesses are quite clear. Either switching to vehicles which are exempt from the charges and restrictions – or ensuring you are on top of the restrictions and charges being brought in as they are introduced. This means planning journeys, costs and accounting for the restrictions to be put in place.

If you would like the latest updates in relation to Clean air Zones then or have any questions relating to your particular circumstances, then please use the form below to get in touch – or leave a comment below (…at the bottom of the page on the blog).

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