Published on December 15th, 2012 | by Nicholas Brown


Electric Vehicles May Be Only Vehicles Exempt From London Congestion Fee

December 15th, 2012 by  

If Mayor Boris Johnson approves, electric vehicles may be exempt from a congestion fee imposed in the city of London… and they’d be the only ones.

Nissan Leaf vehicles.

The congestion charge appears to be enough to discourage some people from driving. It is a startling ₤10 per day (equivalent to $16). For those whom drive 30 days per month, that is ₤300 per month ($485 USD).

According to This is Money:

“About 19,000 vehicles, mainly with small diesel engines, escape the £10-a-day levy as their engines emit less than 100 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

But from July the levels are to be slashed to less than 75g of CO2 per kilometre, and at present only all-electric and some hybrid cars can achieve this. Owners of cars that meet today’s levels will have a sunset period of two years before they lose their exempt status.”

Some people think this exemption won’t help with automobile emissions, as they believe electric vehicles simply cause emissions elsewhere (at power plants), rather than at the tailpipe like gasoline-powered vehicles do. For those wondering about that, however, studies have found EVs are without a doubt cleaner.

A Union of Concerned Scientists study earlier this year found that EVs are cleaner than gasoline-powered cars in the vast majority of cases. And, according to a Stanford study, electric vehicles emit less than gasoline-powered vehicles even when obtaining electricity from coal power plants, and when power transmission losses are factored in, because they are that much more efficient.

And another key point is that electric vehicles get their electricity from a broad range of sources, including wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, biomass, and even garbage!

Furthermore, tailpipe vehicle emissions are among the worst type of emissions because they are everywhere, even in residential areas where people live and spend hours every day. When it comes to pollution, EVs are a clear step ahead of gasoline-powered (aka petrol-powered) vehicles.

Source: Autoblog Green

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • Ronald Brak

    Just to be clear, electric cars are already exempt from the congestion price and with the rule changes they will become just about be the only cars that are exempt.

  • Pete Stiles

    I see your point but the effort here is to reduce emissions in the city that is caused by congestion. Also it is not that relevant if EV’s produced as much pollution, the point is that the pollution will not be as intense in the city even if it were the same on a world wide basis. (which it won’t be)

  • Good to see EV being encouraged. But doesn’t anyone else see the problem with exempting vehicles from a congestion fee? An EV takes up the same space as a car and contributes to congestion the same way.

    If diesel vehicles are already exempt due to low emissions then one has to question the name of the program. Is this a congestion fee or an emissions fee? It sounds like the latter to me. In which case an EV should be exempted.

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