Senin, 22 April 2013

More "green cars" are beating the congestion charge - Autos

<p>Ever since the congestion charge was launched in central London on 17 February 2003, it has succeeded in polarising Londoners and becoming a reason to avoid the capital for those outside. In 2007, a couple of days after Valentines Day, the zone was extended further to include parts of West London. Drivers are now expected to pay between 9 and 12 a day to pass through the area, with residents inside the zone eligible for a discount. All for the pleasure of driving in one of the most gridlocked cities in Western Europe.However, thanks to an increasing awareness of the need for a more environmentally sound approach to motoring; the Mayor of London announced that as of 4 January 2011, a new Greener Vehicle Discount (GVD) would be created as part of the revised congestion charge scheme. The new scheme provides a 100% discount to cars that emit 100g/km of CO2 or less and meet the Euro 5 standard for air quality. It is hoped the effects of this will be twofold, namely cleaner air
quality for the Central London area but also encouraging green car sales.Prior to this, the legislation only exempted cars that were electric or hybrid. Sadly, the electric car has so far failed to find a market in the UK. Even lucrative government subsidies of 5000 have not been able to reverse the trend of declining electric car sales. The improvements in engine emissions have seen the policy now moved to include all low emission Euro 5 standard petrol or diesel cars.Congestion exempt cars now include not only the egg-shaped G-Wiz, or the electrifying Tesla Roadster but also the Volkswagen Polo, Seat Leon Hatchback and the Audi A1 hatchbacks. The threshold CO2 boundary of 100g/km has been an important target for manufacturers and has seen many manufacturers respond to the challenge. The new policy will be under review in 2012, where it is expected that the exemption emission rate will be lowered to 80g/km, thus acting as an incentive for the industry to be ever-more aware
of the environmental impact of its cars and hopefully produce increasingly cleaner ones.What cannot be denied is that as fuel prices increase ever-more alarmingly, economically and environmentally sound cars will be demanded by consumers. Those manufacturers that wish to stay competitive will be forced to respond. In the long term, it is hoped that the lowering of the costs of motoring will be of benefit to not just the motorist but to the planet as a whole. The incentives in replacing a gas-guzzling car make as much sense as a timely windshield glass repair; not just sense from an aesthetic or green perspective, but also from a financial one.</p>

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