It’s three years since LoCITY's inception. Whilst progress has been slower than some would’ve preferred, and some concerns remain unanswered, it looks like early 2019 will see some critical progress.
The Mayor’s EV Infrastructure Taskforce which has brought together representatives from business, energy, infrastructure, government and London boroughs will be publishing a delivery plan in Spring 2019 with recommendations around how, when and where to increase London’s electric vehicle infrastructure up until 2025. Commercial operators should feel the benefits of this collaborative initiative. More overall charge points will undoubtedly reduce range anxiety, but suitably located and readily available charging will directly enable businesses to profitably use zero emission vehicles. Collaboration across all authorities will be key to unlocking further progress.
Conveniently 2019 will also see an increase in the range of zero emission trucks and vans available for purchase. In a demand driven market let’s hope manufacturers feel confident to supply enough units to the UK. The Mercedes-Benz Vans eSprinter and eVito are due to arrive mid-year. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are launching the eCrafter to target urban deliveries and the lightest vehicle in their truck portfolio with an electric version of the MAN TGE. Volvo’s truck range will also grow, with FE and FL electric models supporting cleaner city operations, such as waste collection. Slightly longer term, LDV looks set to deliver a new offering, the EV31, which will form the basis for a new smaller van due to arrive in 2020.
It wouldn’t be a LoCITY article if I didn’t mention the Ultra Low Emission Zone! The ULEZ is going live in April but now is the time to plan for going beyond, especially if you operate across inner London. By October 2021 we expect to see a number of zero emission zones alongside the ULEZ that will be 18 times bigger than the one being introduced this April! London is going to be a very different place to operate by 2021.
To support this transition the Mayor recently announced a £23 million scheme to help smaller businesses scrap older, more polluting vans and switch to cleaner vehicles. The fund will support those who have vans that do not comply with the ULEZ standards but drive into the zone regularly. This is a positive step to help London’s micro-businesses, so if you are considering the scheme then why not think ahead and go for an alternatively fuelled vehicle. More information on the scheme will be announced over the next few weeks. If you want to know more about this scheme and the latest vehicles then register here to come along to our next LoCITY event on March 20th at Kempton Park.