As has been widely anticipated, on the 12 February 2008 Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, finally confirmed that the London Congestion Charge will change to an emissions-based system – from 27 October 2008.
The new scheme is designed to encourage vehicles which produce lower levels of CO2, and discourage the use of vehicles with high CO2 emissions.
One of the key points is that cars that emit 120g/km CO2 or less (Cars in VED bands A and B) – and meet the Euro 4 standard for air pollution emissions – will be able to enter the capital for free.
Cars that produce 226g/km+ of CO2 – first registered after 1 March 2001 – will have to pay a much higher charge of £25 per day. If you think you can buy an old V8 Range Rover and be exempt, think again – the £25 charge will also apply to cars registered before 1 March 2001 with engines greater than 3,000cc.
The majority of cars (currently around 80 per cent) within the Congestion Charging zone with emissions between 121g/km and 225g/km – VED bands C-F – will not be affected by the new Order and will continue to pay the £8 standard charge.
The 90 per cent Residents’ Discount for residents with cars emitting more than 120g/km CO2 will disappear.
The 100 per cent Alternative Fuel Discount (AFD) to new registrations will also end, and this will be phased out completely by January 2010.
Finally, there will be the introduction of the Euro V incentive – a time-limited reduced Congestion Charge of £6 for lorries and heavier vans that meet the Euro V standard for air pollution emissions.
The boundary of the Congestion Charging zone, and charging hours, 7:00 to 18:00 Monday-Friday excluding bank holidays, remain the same.
So, the race really is now on for manufacturers to bring sub-120g/km cars to market. As any regular visitors to Green-Car-Guide.com will know, since the new emissions-based charging scheme was proposed, a whole range of cars have magically appeared just under the 120g/km barrier.
So these are all the cars that are available with models emitting 120g/km CO2 or less…
Out of the above, the Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion and the Seat Ibiza Ecomotive both emit less than 100g/km CO2.
Check the emissions of new cars at www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk
For best-in-class green cars, see our Green-Car-Guide e-Book.