A number of clean air zones have been introduced over the last 12 months, with Bath, Birmingham and Portsmouth all taking steps to cut down on air pollution rates. Despite this, Steve Endacott, Chairman of Electric Car Organisation (ECO), has called for the Government and local authorities to avoid implementing clean air zones and other emissions charging zones.
He instead believes that local councils should make use of Government tax breaks that exist and deal with a lack of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Central Government tax subsidies via salary sacrifice schemes incentivise the switch to EVs with tax breaks.
These subsidies make leasing an electric vehicle between 32 and 42 percent cheaper via a business than as an individual.
Mr Endacott said: “Local councils should be focusing on taking advantage of central Government tax breaks to incentivise the move to EVs via employers’ salary sacrifice schemes since it costs them nothing.
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This comes as a number of cities are having issues with implementing a clean air zone.
Greater Manchester authorities have been forced to delay their clean air zone, which would have been the largest emissions scheme in the UK.
Global supply chain issues and the price and availability of second hand vehicles had made it harder for residents to switch to CAZ-compliant cars.
Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham commented on the delay, saying: “The vehicles just simply aren’t available to get the change in that time frame.
“So the risk with that situation is people can’t get the vehicle so even if they want to change and do the right thing they can’t.
“So then they’re just left hit with the charge.”
The zone would have seen larger vehicles like lorries, buses and coaches charged £60 per day, while vans, taxis and minibuses will be charged between £7.50 and £10 a day.
Bristol has also been forced to delay its clean air zone, with businesses also dealing with challenges around vehicles and expenses.
Recently, Newcastle Council leaders called on the Government to provide clarity on the situation regarding grants.
The Government is still yet to give final approval of the CAZ to come into operation.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has also failed to respond to a £23million request from Newcastle and Gateshead Councils.
This would allow them to offer grants of up to £20,000 per vehicle to help companies, small business owners, and taxi drivers upgrade to newer models.