Transport for London is expanding its van scrappage scheme to larger fleets while also doubling the grants available and deploying more fast chargers to prepare for the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
First announced in September 2018 in advance of the April 2019 launch of the ULEZ, the van scrappage scheme originally went live last February and offered registered charities and microbusinesses – defined as those with 10 or fewer employees – £3,500 to either switch to a newer ULEZ-compliant Euro 6 vehicle or to access rental and sharing services, or £6,000 towards the cost of switching to a cleaner vehicle, alongside the OLEV Plug-in Van Grants.
The newly enhanced scheme – announced as the Mayor of London also grants extra funding for Business Low Emission Neighbourhoods to help reduce pollution – is now open to small businesses (50 or fewer employees) and offers £7,000 to switch to mobility solutions or a cleaner van, with £9,500 also now available to those switching to electric vans.
The increased funding is intended to help businesses prepare for the expansion of the ULEZ up to the north and south circular in October 2021, and the tightening of the London-wide Low Emission Zone standards this October.
The scheme will also be opened up to support small businesses operating heavy vehicles later this year, with a grant of around £15,000 for each polluting heavy vehicle expected, up to a maximum of three vehicles. Further details will be revealed closer to the launch.
To further support businesses to prepare for the ULEZ, the Mayor has pledged a further £1.75m in London economic action partnership (LEAP) funding to deliver six more business-led Low Emission Neighbourhoods.
Projects to be funded include the installation of one of the UK’s first ultra-fast electric vehicle charging depots in partnership with E.ON, providing multiple fast charging points, and the provision of additional zero-emission delivery services.
Announcing the changes, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan renewed his calls for the Government to also play its part by funding a national scrappage scheme “that supports all those small businesses who want to do the right thing and switch to cleaner vehicles across the UK”.
The expansion of the Mayor’s own scrappage scheme has been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Natalie Chapman, FTA’s head of south of England and urban policy, said: “Businesses within the logistics sector are determined to play their part in improving London’s air quality, but many simply do not have the resources to replace their existing fleets to meet the new, required emission standards; this scheme will help to ease the heavy financial burden. In addition to doubling payments for van scrappage and expanding the criteria for support, we are pleased to see TfL is developing a funding programme for HGVs; we look forward to seeing the details of this emerge in the coming months.”