According to estimations, pollution costs the UK around £20 billion annually. In response, the Mayor of London has launched a set of initiatives designed to improve air quality in the capital.
One of those initiatives, the Van Scrappage Fund, has been created to help charities and small businesses in London switch older, polluting vans for cleaner vehicles. Through the scheme, old vehicles can be scrapped to help with the purchase and running costs of electric vehicles (EVs) or those compliant with the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
ULEZ, which has now come into force in central London, is considered to be the world’s toughest vehicle emissions standard. It will operate in the same area as the current Congestion Charge zone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Those who are running vehicles that do not meet the new, stricter ULEZ emissions standards will need to pay a daily charge to drive within the zone.
With polluting vehicles accounting for around 50% of the capital’s toxic air emissions, it is hoped this new fund will help improve air quality, which is currently a contributing factor to 40,000 premature deaths in the UK annually.
Applicants can receive a £6,000 payment to assist with the running costs for a new EV, or a payment of £3,500 to purchase a Euro 6 vehicle or access rental and car-sharing services across London.
The scheme is open to London-based registered charities and microbusinesses - defined as those with 10 or fewer employees. The business or charity must be registered at a Greater London address.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
"To get a grip on London’s lethal air and protect public health, we need to rid our streets of the most polluting vehicles.
"Motorists need our help and support to take positive action, and I am proud to open this £23m scrappage scheme to help enable micro businesses and charities to scrap polluting vans and minibuses, and switch to cleaner vehicles."
Applications are now open. There is no set deadline for applications to be submitted.
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