From the 3rd of September, rules surrounding the new 'ultra-low emission zones' will come in to effect in effort to fight against the air pollution crisis in the congested capital London, meaning only modern hybrid, hydrogen or fully electric cars/bikes will be allowed to drive on the nine streets taking part in the scheme during the hours of 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm during weekdays.
Being the first scheme of its kind in the UK, only two boroughs are taking part in the pilot - Hackney and Islington; interestingly though, a data set published by The Guardian indicates that the journey percentages for Hackney and Islington by car are less than 10%. Regardless, if motorists driving cars with petrol or diesel engines wander in to these areas and are caught on CCTV, they'll be hit with a fine. It's a shame to see that motorbikes are not exempt from these zones, considering their low CO2 output due to the low power to weight ratio and the fact that they won't spend nearly as much time idling due to the congestion, but as CO2 and air pollution are not the same thing, unfortunately the bikes aren't allowed, as the point of the scheme is to reduce micro-particulates in the air/NO2.
What dictates an ultra-low emission vehicle?
To be considered an ultra-low emission vehicle, models are required to produce less than 75g/km, however, the vehicles must also be able to run for at least 10km in zero emission mode.
So, like what?
At a glance, models such as the popular Nissan leaf, BMW i3, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or E-Golf. We understand that some think that hybrid/EV cars look a little bit too quirky, so we've compiled a list of the most stylish hybrid cars available on the market for you to browse.
Looking to the future, if these zones become more commonplace, they will surely incentivise the creation of more low-emission means of transportation and help keep air in congested areas pollution free.