Help offered to van fleets operating in clean air zones

More than half of the vehicles currently operating in clean air zones do not comply with pending emissions standards, research from Masternaut has found.

The analysis of Masternaut customers, carried out by the telematics company and gas distribution network Cadent Gas, found that operators would face charges of £400 per van, per year.

Additional analysis from Manheim found that 80% of the diesel-engined vans currently on the UK’s roads do not comply with CAZ standards.

These are currently Euro 6 diesel, Euro 4 petrol or battery electric vehicles.

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) - will be the first urban centre in the UK to levy a charge on non-compliant vehicles when it starts on April 8 2019.

CAZs are being introduced in 2020 in Birmingham and Leeds, and similar schemes will follow by 2021 in other cities and towns mandated by government to tackle local air quality issues.

These local authorities are currently consulting on how their respective schemes will operate.

Dhruv Parekh, CEO at Masternaut said: “The research clearly shows that many fleet companies are at risk of facing fines when the new regulations come into place, posing a significant challenge to the industry.

“With many competing demands on fleet managers’ time, we know these new standards are just one more headache to tackle in an already busy day.”

To help fleet managers understand and comply to the CAZ standards, Masternaut is hosting a webinar on February 27, to provide recommendations on how to adjust fleet operations to avoid fines.

Masternaut’s research highlighted how many non-compliant vehicles entered the upcoming ULEZs between August 2017 and August 2018 and how much it would cost businesses if they continue operating in the same way once the new standards come into effect:

  • 55.3% of the vehicles that entered the London CAZ were non-compliant, which would have resulted in total fines of £1690 per vehicle for that period, had the new regulations been in place
  • 53.2% of the vehicles that operated in the Birmingham CAZ were non-compliant – a potential fine risk of £711 per vehicle for businesses over that year
  • 53.4% of the vehicles operating in the Sheffield CAZ were non-compliant and would have caused fines of £2476 per vehicle over the period.

Meanwhile, Manheim has produced a free guide – Clean Air Zones and the UK Van Operator: What You Need to Know – for fleet mangaers.

The guide aims to explain what the incoming CAZs are, how they will likely operate, and give advice to van operators trying to understand what this change could mean to their business.

James Davis, Cox Automotive’s customer strategy and insight director for commercial vehicles, said: “Within the next 12 months, three major UK cities will be operating CAZs and the financial costs for those operating pre-Euro 6 diesel vans will be considerable.

“According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), 30% of the 4.3 million vans currently in operation are over 10 years old - but it’s not just older models that will be affected.

“Many van operators will be surprised to learn that CAZ charges will apply to some vehicles which are not yet three years old because Euro 6 did not become mandatory on new vans until 1 September 2016.

“With so much uncertainty surrounding the introduction of the ULEZ and CAZs, we have published a guide for van operators highlighting the key facts and how these zones could impact their business operations if they do not have compliant vehicles.”

For more on clean air zones, visit our interactive map

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