What Is The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)?


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The Ultra Low Emission Zone Is Expanding On 25th October 2021

Update: 26th November 2020: According to the Transport for London, “Despite recent improvements in air quality, toxic air pollution in London remains the biggest environmental risk to the health of all Londoners, harming our lungs, and worsening chronic illness such as asthma, lung and heart disease and putting the health of our children at risk.”

ulez london
ULEZ Expanded Zone From 25th October 2021 (credit: TfL)

On 25th October 2021, the ULEZ is expanding to create a single larger zone up to the North Circular (A406) and South Circular (A205). Since the introduction of ULEZ, up to 17,400 polluting vehicles have been reduced in London on a daily basis.

Put simply it is a charge to discourage the use of older polluting vehicles that do not meet emission standards entering central London. It is very similar to the Congestion Charge that has been in place in central London since February 2003. The main objective of the ULEZ is to improve air quality.

The ULEZ is enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age of the vehicle. Most petrol vehicles that were registered with the DVLA after 2005 meet the standard. In the case of diesel it is usually vehicles that have been registered after September 2015. The charge is enforced on both cars and vans.

Tesla Model Y electric car
Zero-Emission Electric Cars Like Tesla Do Not Pay A ULEZ Charge (credit: Tesla)

There is no charge for electric vehicles to include electric cars, like the all-electric zero-emission Tesla Model 3 and electric vans. The minimum emission standards:

  • Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category).
  • Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles.
  • Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles.
  • Euro VI (NOx and PM) for lorries, buses and coaches and other specialist heavy vehicles (NOx and PM).
London ULEZ zone
ULEZ Zone London

Why Has The ULEZ Been Introduced?

The ultimate objective of ULEZ is to reduce toxic air in the capital and its negative impact on the health of the residents of the city. TfL expects reduction in toxic emissions by 45% within two years. It is expected to affect 40,000 to 60,000 vehicles a day to include 19,000 vans, 2,000 HGVs and 700 coaches.

Where Else Has The ULEZ Been Introduced?

Interestingly, it is the first charge of its type anywhere in the world. It has only been introduced in Central London but is expected to be expanded in 2021.

When Did The ULEZ Charge Come Into Effect?

The ULEZ charge came into force on Monday 8th April 2019.

What Is The ULEZ Charge And When Does It Apply?

The charge is £12.50 a day for most vehicle types including cars, motorcycles and vans (up to and including 3.5 tonnes). £100 for heavier vehicles (lorries, buses and coaches). ULEZ is now in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days of the year.

How Do I Know If I Need To Pay The Charge?

You can find out if your vehicle meets the emission standards required for the ULEZ zone on the TfL website.

ULEZ zone
ULEZ Zone Up To 25th October 2021 (credit: TfL)

How Can I Avoid The ULEZ?

By using less polluting vehicles like electric cars to include a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and PHEV. It is certainly a good time to consider buying a new or used electric car and we at e-zoomed are well placed to source the perfect electric vehicle for you to include competitive finance, insurance, breakdown cover and even your charging equipment.

Who Operates The ULEZ?

Transport for London (TfL), who also operate the Congestion Charge.

Where Can I Learn More About The ULEZ?

You can learn more about the ULEZ on the Transport for London (Tfl) website.

Does e-zoomed Agree With The ULEZ Charge?

Yes, we believe all forms of transportation should be cleaner, with a significant commitment from the government, manufacturers and consumers in reducing pollution levels. We encourage the rapid adoption of electric cars and other electric vehicles in all cities.

Who Proposed The ULEZ Charge?

It was initially proposed by Boris Johnson in 2014, the then London Mayor. The initial date of introduction was 2020, however, the incumbent London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, moved it forward by a year.

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For those of you seeking to buy and install EV home charging points, we offer a vast range of high quality and high performance electric car charging points at competitive prices. We also offer EV charging cables, EV leasing and green energy.


Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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