Published on August 7th, 2014 | by Zachary Shahan


London Mayor Boris Johnson Wants Polluting Motorists To Pay More

August 7th, 2014 by  

boris johnsonYour opinion on London Mayor Boris Johnson and his efforts to tackle extreme air pollution in London may vary. I’ve seen many good efforts by Boris to improve air quality in London, but I’ve also seen strong criticism, with statements that he isn’t doing nearly enough. Not knowing London politics that well, I will refrain from making a claim one way or the other, but it’s nice to see a new £10 levy Boris has implemented on diesel* and petrol cars that drive in central London, starting 2020 (which does seem awkwardly far out).

This £10 levy combines with London’s congestion charge and is part of Boris Johnson’s “air quality manifesto,” which was unveiled last week. Of course, electric vehicles are exempt because they have zero emissions.

The manifesto includes the introduction of Ultra Low Emission Zones that are aimed to stimulate a lot more low- or zero-emission driving in London.

“Working with the government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Johnson wants to transform London’s vehicle fleets, delivering 200,000 ultra-low emission cars, 7,000 zero emission taxis, 11,500 ultra-low emission private hire vehicles, an additional 1,600 zero emission buses, and up to 350 electric vehicles in other public fleets,” The Engineer writes. “By 2020 London will have 35 rapid charging hubs with 350 rapid charge points and an inductive charging network.”

The city expects to bring in 300 additional electric buses by 2020. I have to say, I hope the number will be much higher, given that there are already electric buses that are cost-competitive with conventional buses on a lifetime basis, while also cutting into costly air pollution and global warming.

Image: Boris Johnson via Elena Rostunova /

*Diesel vehicles that meet Euro 6 emissions standards are exempt from the new levy.

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is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Boris

    7,500 buses in London by the way…:(

    • Matt

      What is the life span of a London bus? If 15 year, then that is 500 replace per year. So over 5 years 2500, meaning 300 would be 12%. So they maybe cost competitive (over their life time), but no one is really stepping up yet. If it was 300 EV buses per year (60%) then you could say it was a big move.

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