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Smart technology could bring fair approach to Clean Air Zone charging, says Tantalum

Deploying smart emissions capture technology that can charge people on the actual environmental impact of their journey could provide a fair means with which to deploy Clean Air Zone charging.

road traffic

According to Tantalum, smart technology could enable fair Clean Air Zone charging.

So says Tantalum as new research calls for mandatory Clean Air Zones in the UK after 44 cities were found to be in breach of recommended World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for air quality.

The analysis by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and Lancet Countdown found a total of 44 of the 51 UK cities in the WHO’s 2016 ambient air pollution database exceeded the organisation’s recommended limit value for particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) of 10 micrograms per cubic metre.

In response, the report’s authors said the UK government must act on air pollution as an urgent policy priority, in particular, expanding Clean Air Zones nationwide with adequate funding for their implementation and a clear mandate for charging zones in the most polluted cities. Current government air quality plans have come under fire for passing the buck to local authorities, leaving environmental legal firm ClientEarth warning of the possibility of a third round of legal action agains the government.

Following the RCP/Lancet research, Tantalum, which is currently running an Innovate UK-funded project to trial real-time NOx emissions calculations using its Air.Car smart technology, has also highlighted the need for action.

Matthew Pencharz, business to government lead on the Air.Car project for Tantalum Corporation, said: “The government clearly has concerns about the financial impact Clean Air Zones will have on drivers, but smart technology, such as Tantalum’s Air.Car, can charge people on the actual environmental impact of their journey, not the car they drive.

“This smart and fair approach would give power to drivers to reduce their own pollution emissions, which could be halved through better driving, and in turn pay a lower charge for driving in cities. Such a smart system would also capture co-benefits such as incentivising calmer driving thereby making the roads safer.”

Tantalum is also calling for fleets to sign up to its Air.Car research, which closes for applications in January. For more details, email [email protected].For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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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.