CoolVan is urging food suppliers to 'future-proof' their fridge van fleets ahead of a further emissions clampdown on diesel vehicles operating in the Capital.
Following the intriduction of the new 'Toxicity Charge' (T-Charge) and proposals to extend the Ultra Low Emissions Zone to clean up air pollution in London, bespoke insulated van converter CoolVan is urging food service companies to check that their fridge vans are Euro 6 compliant – or face big bills when operating in the Capital.
Coolvan's entire range of Euro 6 chiller vans meet London's tough new emissions rules and are exempt from both the Toxicity Charge and the forthcoming Ultra Low Emissions Zone fees.
The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week within the same area as the current Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ), and comes into force on 8 April 2019. From this date, only vehicles which meet Euro 6 emissions standards will avoid a new, additional £12.50 daily charge.
The new charge will be applied on top of the £11.50 weekday Congestion Charge and replace the £10 Toxicity or T-Charge that currently applies to older (Euro 4) diesel vehicles and came into force last year.
Unlike the Congestion Charge and T-Charge, the new ULEZ charges will be enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Failing to pay the charge attracts a £130 penalty (£65 if paid within 14 days).
All new Coolvan refrigerated vans can operate in the central London Low Emission Zone without paying the T-Charge (£10 a day) – which came into effect in October – or the forthcoming ULEZ charges.
Coolvan managing director Chris Warburton said: "The new Ultra Low Emissions Zone comes into effect next spring – so food distributors operating in London effectively have less than a year to make sure they are compliant – or face a sharp increase in operating costs.
Next April, the price of driving a non-compliant fridge van into central London will jump by at least £250 a month, which – in terms of monthly rental – is likely to be higher than the differential cost of upgrading to a Euro 6 diesel van. High intensity users could be looking at paying almost £400 a month just to service their customers. Across a fleet of 12 vehicles – that's a hike of around £54,000 a year.
"All our new vans have Euro 6 engines which comply with the new ULEZ standards. Since the introduction of the T-charge in October, we have seen a significant increase in enquiries. Our advice is to replace older fridge vans early as lead times are likely to lengthen as the April 2019 deadline approaches."
The UK Government is committed to making significant improvements to urban air quality after the High Court found it in breach of its obligation to meet much tighter air quality standards. Targeting older diesel vehicles has been identified as the most effective way to improve urban air quality.
Several other UK cities – including Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton – are planning to introduce similar restrictions on older diesel vehicles operating in the urban environment, with as many as 15 local authorities preparing to follow suit. Oxford is proposing a complete ban on petrol and diesel vehicles entering the city centre from 2020.
The new ULEZ will affect an estimated 60,000 vehicles a day and as well as diesel vans – will also apply to older petrol vehicles. Proposals to extend the ULEZ to the North and South Circular roads by 2021 are currently under consideration.
Coolvan has also developed an electric fridge van for urban use, which is exempt from both the Congestion and ULEZ charges. For some short-range suppliers operating exclusively in central London, the Nissan e-NV200 based fridge van is already cheaper to operate than its diesel rivals.
For more information or advice on future-proofing your fridge van fleet, call us direct on 0800 883 8282 or click here to send us an email.