London’s new T-charge comes into force

Penalties for the most polluting cars are part of the mix needed to encourage electric vehicle take up, according to InstaVolt.

As London’s £10 T-charge came into effect at 7am this morning, the electric vehicle charging firm said it’s necessary for the Government to use ‘stick’ as well as ‘carrot’ measures to persuade drivers to go electric. CEO Tim Payne said: “Carrot measures, such as scrappage schemes and the creation of a reliable network of rapid chargers, have gone some way to boost EV sales. However, it’s inevitable that to create such a major shift there’ll need to be some tough ‘stick’ measures too, like the T-charge.”

People driving older, more polluting petrol and diesel vehicles will now be liable for the £10 T-charge on top of the congestion charge of £11.50, which has been in place since 2003. This means drivers of the most polluting vehicles must from now on pay a daily charge of up to £21.50 to drive in to central London. The charge has been introduced in an effort to improve air quality in the capital, where legal pollution limits are regularly exceeded.

Tim Payne, CEO of InstaVolt, said: “The introduction of the T-charge highlights the issueof poor air quality, not only in the capital bus across the UK and is another reason that so many drivers are considering electric vehicles as their next car. It follows closely the Government Clean Growth Strategy which was announced 10 days ago and makes our role in providing rapid charge infrastructure even more important. Our programme to install 3,000 rapid chargers across the country is underway and meeting with a very positive response from EV (electric vehicle) drivers everywhere.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said he wanted to prepare Londoners for the ultra-low emission zone being introduced in April 2019. He said: “As mayor, I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London’s lethal air. The scale of the public health crisis London faces is shameful. Roughly speaking each year more than 9,000 Londoners die prematurely because of the poor quality air – children in our city whose lungs are underdeveloped, with adults who suffer from conditions such as asthma, dementia and strokes directly caused by poor quality air.

“Today marks a major milestone in this journey with the introduction of the T-charge to encourage motorists to ditch polluting, harmful vehicles. London now has the world’s toughest emissions standard with older, more polluting vehicles paying up to £21.50 a day to drive in the centre of the city. This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe.”

The charge is applicable to Pre-Euro 4 vehicles in the zone, which covers all of central London to the south of King’s Cross station, to the east of Hyde Park, west of the Tower of London and north of Elephant and Castle.

Pre-Euro 4 vehicles are typically those registered before 2006 but Transport for London suggests that anyone who has a vehicle registered before 2008 checks if it is liable for the charge.