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Heavy vehicle scrappage scheme promises solution to small fleets ahead of new emissions restrictions

Heavy vehicle scrappage scheme promises solution to small fleets ahead of new emissions restrictions

Early next year, emissions regulations are getting tighter in London. On March 1st 2021, stricter standards for the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will come into force.

To help small businesses switch non-compliant fleets for greener vehicles ahead of the changes, the Government has launched a new scrappage scheme specifically aimed at heavy vehicles.

Under the programme, commercial fleet operators could receive as much as £15,000 to scrap and replace a vehicle with a compliant alternative. The scheme also offers money to upgrade diesel vehicles to the current cleanest Euro VI standards.

The heavy vehicles scrappage scheme is for SMEs with up to 50 employees, and will share a £48 million funding budget which has been set aside to target all sorts of vehicles. Each scheme will operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

A great track record

A scrappage scheme for vans has already proven successful, taking some 5,000 non-compliant vehicles off London’s roads during the 18 months it ran. So it’s no surprise that more than 100 organisations have already pre-registered for the heavy vehicle program.

If you haven’t already registered, now’s the time to do it. Click here to find out more about the funding and apply.

Deputy Mayor for environment and energy, Shirley Rodrigues, said: “The Ultra Low Emission Zone has already cut toxic air by more than a third and with tighter Low Emission Zone standards due to come in next year we want to ensure there is help for businesses and charities switching coaches or lorries to cleaner greener vehicles.”

What are the new emissions standards?

As things stand, there is a limit on how much particulate matter (PM) a vehicle is allowed to emit in its exhaust gases. The new standards will put a limit on nitrogen oxides (NOx) for some vehicles too.

Heavy vehicles count as “some vehicles”, so they’ll need to meet the cleanest Euro VI emissions standards for both PM and NOx to avoid the daily charge in the Low Emission Zone. And how much is the charge?

According to Transport For London’s table of air quality schemes and congestion charges, “HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes” will pay £100 a day if the vehicle doesn’t meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) standards from 1 March 2021. And any that don’t meet the Euro IV (PM) standard will pay £300 per day.

It’s worth knowing that Euro VI is the same emission standard as in the Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which means there won’t be an additional charge to drive Euro VI vehicles in the ULEZ.

No grace period

There won’t be a grace period when the changes come in, since the changes have already been pushed back from the end of October 2020 thanks to the pandemic.

Not only will commercial fleets need to take action to comply with the new emissions standards in the next few months, but they’ll also need to prepare for the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) too.

The DVS will require additional safety features to be fitted to any HGVs upwards of 12 tonnes deemed to have the most dangerous blind spots. It also launches on 1st March 2021.

Have you prepared your fleet for the changes? If you want any advice or help planning the future of your fleet, don’t hesitate to drop a comment or give us a call on 0845 500 4505.