One in 10 vans operated by fleets are not compliant with the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), which is being substantially expanded from August 2023, FleetCheck is warning.
Peter Golding, managing director at the leading fleet management software specialist said that to be ULEZ-compliant, vans needed to meet Euro 6 standards, which generally meant they were registered after late 2016.
He explained: “There’s something of a problem in the fact that many fleets are now running older vehicles that would’ve been seen before the pandemic. In pre-Covid times, there would have been very few six-year-old-plus vans being used by fleets but factors such as low production volumes in recent years mean that there are now more than in the past.
“Looking at data drawn from across our customer base, which is quite heavily biased towards SMEs, 10% of vans still being operated won’t be able to be used in Greater London from next August. This is not a huge number but it is also not insignificant.
“As a company, we believe that the achievements of the ULEZ in terms of improving air quality are to be applauded and support its expansion but this development may present practical problems for these fleets.”
Peter said that two choices were available to businesses with non-compliant vans who needed to enter the ULEZ – either swapping Euro 5 with Euro 6 vans within their organisation to put the right vehicles was in the right areas, or to buy compliant replacement vehicles.
“Option A is perhaps becoming a little bit trickier thanks to the growth of low emissions zones across the country and will depend on the composition and needs of each fleet. However, option B is also relatively difficult at the moment because of production restrictions. Especially, replacing any kind of specialist light commercial vehicle could be difficult as manufacturers tend to be concentrating current production on simple panel vans.”
Peter added that FleetCheck had been providing guidance to its fleet management software users who were facing these issues, and the advice given differed quite widely based on individual circumstances.
“There’s no easy answer to this problem for the fleets affected but it is something that needs to be solved somehow and we are helping them to identify appropriate solutions.”