Fridge van fleets are being urged to take action now to ensure vehicles are Euro 6 compliant – or face big bills when London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone kicks in.
Effective from April 2019 – 17 months earlier than originally planned, the scheme covers central London and provides a replacement to the recently launched T-Charge, bringing far more onerous compliance requirements and penalties. Vehicles will need to be a minimum of Euro 6-compliant for diesels and Euro 4 for petrols, compared to Euro 4 for both fuel types under the T-Charge.
And while the T-Charge costs £10 for any non-compliant vehicles, the ULEZ scheme – which runs in addition to Congestion Charge costs – is priced at £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 a day for buses, coaches and lorries. Penalties stand at £130 (reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days) for cars and £1,000 (reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days) for lorries and other heavy duty vehicles.
In response, bespoke insulated van converter CoolVan is urging food service companies to take action now to avoid falling foul of charges.
Managing director Chris Warburton said: “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.”
Warburton added that the penalties for non compliance were 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.”
Warburton added that possible plans by other cities to place restrictions on older diesel vehicles operating in the urban environment, and the London Mayor targeting the possible expansion of the ULEZ to cover the North/South Circular roads in 2021, added extra pressures for fridge van fleets to take action.
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