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Mayor outlines vision for London to become ULEV capital of Europe

The plans have been revealed as the London Fire Brigade announces its commitment to transfer support cars to electric by 2016. London’s Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, has agreed a £600,000 plan to replace 57 of the Brigade’s fleet vehicles with range extender and hybrid electric cars by 2016. He has also revealed the Brigade’s ambition to eventually use low emission fire engines in the Capital, calling on industry to bring forward new technologies to meet the unique demands of operational emergency vehicles.

The Mayor is calling on other parts of the Capital’s fleet of commercial and private vehicles to turn to ultra-low emission vehicles. Today also saw Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring, unveil the steps London will take to become the ULEV capital of Europe at an event attended by officials from TfL, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, Go Ultra Low campaign, local authorities and vehicle manufacturers.

The new ULEV Delivery Plan sets out a wide range of actions to support the uptake of electric and ultra-low emission vehicles. It includes:

• A commitment to the ultra-low emission discount for the congestion charge and to improving it as emission standards improve, so only the cleanest vehicles are incentivised.

• Exploring preferential access for ULEV vehicles when new infrastructure is opened.

• Working with boroughs to develop preferential access, parking or charging in new area-based schemes, including through the £2m low emission neighbourhood programme to be funded by the Mayor’s Air Quality Fund

• Launching a new Low Emission Commercial Vehicle (LECV) Programme by the end of the year to accelerate the development, supply and widen uptake of low emission commercial vehicles and refuelling infrastructure.

• Undertaking trials of ‘geofencing’ to harness new technologies and target the potential air quality benefits.

• Working with the car club industry to identify and put in place infrastructure to support the industry’s ambitions for at least 50% of their fleets to be ULEV by 2025.

• Developing a new infrastructure procurement framework for charge points that provides best value for procurers in the GLA Group.

Ms Dedring said: “London has real potential to become the ultra-low emission vehicle capital of Europe. We already have the world’s largest green bus fleet and now we can welcome London Fire Brigade’s commitment to electric vehicles. There is also a great opportunity for the capital’s fleet of commercial and private vehicles to step forward and help to deliver our ambition for London to be a world leader in green vehicle technology. It will help us meet London’s air quality challenge and provide economic benefits right across the UK – as shown by the Mayor’s commitment to zero emission taxis which led to a £300m investment, creating 2,000 jobs and two factories in Coventry.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.