Insulated van converter CoolVan is urging food service companies to check their fridge vans are Euro 6 compliant ahead of the introduction of London's ultra low emissions zone (ULEZ) next year.
At the moment, vehicles which are not Euro 4 or Euro IV compliant and which enter the central London Low Emission Zone are subject to the T-Charge (£10 a day), while from April next year only vehicles which meet Euro 6 standards will avoid a new, additional £12.50 ULEZ daily charge.
Chris Warburton, managing director of CoolVan, said: “The new Ultra Low Emissions Zone comes into effect next spring – so food distributors operating in London effectively have less than a year to make sure they are compliant – or face a sharp increase in operating costs.
“Next April, the price of driving a non-compliant fridge van into central London will jump by at least £250 a month, which – in terms of monthly rental – is likely to be higher than the differential cost of upgrading to a Euro 6 diesel van.
“High intensity users could be looking at paying almost £400 a month just to service their customers. Across a fleet of 12 vehicles – that’s a hike of around £54,000 a year.”
He added: "All our new vans have Euro 6 engines which are exempt from the T-Charge and also comply with the new ULEZ standards.
“Since the introduction of the T-charge in October, we have seen a significant increase in enquiries. Our advice is to replace older fridge vans early as lead times are likely to lengthen as the April 2019 deadline approaches.”
Several other UK cities – including Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton – are planning to introduce similar restrictions on older diesel vehicles operating in the urban environment, with as many as 15 local authorities preparing to follow suit. Oxford is proposing a complete ban on petrol and diesel vehicles entering the city centre from 2020.