As Bath confirms its Clean Air Zone (CAZ) launch date, the rental and leasing sector stands ready to provide businesses with the low-emission vehicles they need to stay compliant.
“Our members have a fleet of CAZ-compliant cars, vans and trucks ready to help businesses or individuals upgrade their vehicles to cleaner alternatives. We would advise people to consider their options now, to ensure that they can get the right vehicles in place at the right time.”
The BVRLA has been working with policymakers across the UK for a number of years to ensure that local and national clean air strategies are practical, effective and don’t place an unrealistic burden on road users. With six months to go until Bath becomes the first of many Clean Air Zone cities, the association is highlighting a couple of issues that must be addressed:
- The Government must introduce a nationwide digital payment platform that provides a clear, consistent and proactive way for fleets to manage multiple vehicles entering multiple zones on a daily basis. A similar ‘auto pay’ function to that used on the Dart Crossing is essential, because it would enable fleets to register their vehicles and have them charged automatically as they enter a CAZ.
- Local authorities must provide targeted financial assistance to firms that need support in upgrading their vans or trucks. These funds should be accessible for leased or rented vehicles – which thousands of businesses and individuals rely on for their transport needs.
“2021 is already set to be a challenging year, as the UK economy recovers from the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions and new ways of working. The introduction of Clean Air Zones will provide yet another test, but it is an essential one, and one that the vehicle rental and leasing sector is ready to help with, “ added Keaney.
Poppy Welch, Head of Go Ultra Low, the joint government and industry campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles, commented: “As businesses look for ways to reduce their impact on the environment, Clean Air Day 2020 provides an opportune moment to assess the contribution that their fleets make to local air quality. Fully electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids when driven in electric mode produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them greener, cleaner and better for the environment than petrol or diesel vehicles. There are a number of government incentives for companies looking to electrify their fleets – such as changes to Benefit-in-Kind which now means fully electric company and salary sacrifice cars incur a 0% tax rate. What’s more, with lower maintenance and running costs than petrol or diesel alternatives, EVs offer companies an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, without impacting their bottom line.”