Unless Bristol City Council and the Department of Transport produce a campaign (see BBC article below) to closely support diesel drivers there could be a strong public backlash.
We have consulted extensively with thousands of diesel van drivers around London since the ULEZ (Ulta Low Emission Zone) was introduced in April 2019. We have two observations which appear to be a common reaction:
1. We observed from a recent 10 mile walk around London's centre and observing some 1200 vehicles, that the majority of vans were less than 2 years old. The ULEZ charge does not apply to diesel vans registered after September 2016.
We think buyers have just bought new vans in response. We also know a great many other van owners have stayed out of the city. London is densely populated and trade may not be affected. Other cities are not so dense and their trade may be affected. This is a very important reason for a closely managed transition to cleaner air: Potential loss of trade.
2. Many van owners are delaying the purchase of a new van due to uncertainties over Brexit and a lack of clarity over emissions.
We firmly believe that the transition to clean air in all major UK cities needs to be closely managed and implemented at a pace drivers can manage financially. Yes, there will be a range of measures to assist drivers but how closely managed will it be? Will drivers still be confused and react against the proposed changes? From our experience we think so.
We also believe that electric vehicles seem to be the most viable option to reduce air pollution.
There are clear steps in this process to transition to cleaner air:
A. Educate drivers. From our experience 97% of potential vehicle buyers do not have any knowledge of electric or alternative lower emission vehicles. We have and continue to produce educational videos on the True Van YouTube channel here clearly demonstrating the benefits of electric vehicles and how to use them daily
B. Range. The distance a vehicle will travel on a full battery. Everyone worries about this and everyone thinks they need at least 200 miles of range. We believe most people only travel up to 50 miles per day in an urban setting. There are electric cars and vans that will satisfy the needs of most drivers today. And these drivers are missing out right now, as these vehicles will save those drivers money. Again see our YouTube channel to find out more here.
C. Each driver needs to understand what their daily usage is and make an informed choice of what vehicle to transition into. We have simple to use tools available right now for drivers to quickly monitor their daily usage. Once drivers understand their use then they can calculate if it is best to purchase an electric vehicle now or wait until they have gathered enough money fund a replacement electric vehicle. So, yes, paying a daily Clean Air Zone charge may still be the best short term option.
D. When the driver decides to make the swap into an electric vehicle we have a wealth of knowledge owning and running EV's. We can provide "real world" usage estimates. We can source the most cost effective option of vehicle for buyers through our purchasing power with manufacturers.
E. There are still drivers who need diesel and petrol vehicles. They may cover larger distances each day or have a demanding schedule where currently, have insufficient time to charge an electric vehicle.
With every sale of vehicle we always aim to put the buyer in the best possible position, to make the best choice of vehicle for them, at the best price possible.
For more information call 0115 850 0426