Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced changes to his van scrappage scheme in the hope of increasing the number of firms upgrading to cleaner vehicles.
The scheme’s eligibility criteria has been broadened to include businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Previously the scheme was only open to micro business, classed as those with 10 employees or fewer.
In addition payments are being doubled to £7,000 while firms switching to electric vans can now receive grants of £9,500.
City Hall says the changes will enable more van owners to switch to cleaner vehicles ahead of the Ultra Low Emission Zone’s (ULEZ) expansion to the north and south circular next year and the tightening of the London-wide Low Emission Zone standards this October.
Mr Khan’s office say he’s also working on a new scheme to help owners of heavy vehicles such as HGVs, coaches and non-TfL buses switch to cleaner models. Full details will be confirmed later this year but it’s expected that operators will be able to claim a grant of around £15,000 for each vehicle, up to a maximum of three vehicles.
The Mayor has also announced a further £1.75million in London economic action partnership (LEAP) funding to deliver six more business-led Low Emission Neighbourhoods.
Planned projects include installing one of the UK’s first ultra-fast electric vehicle charging depots in partnership with EON, providing multiple fast charging points and the provision of additional zero emissions delivery services.
Mr Khan said: “Our dirty air is a national health crisis that contributes to thousands of premature deaths ever year.
“While bold action such as our Ultra Low Emission Zone is starting to make a difference in London, I want to ensure there is help for businesses making the switch to cleaner greener vehicles – whether you rely on a van, lorry or coach.
“While we’re doing all we can in the capital, we now need the Government to match our levels of ambition and fund a national scrappage scheme that supports all those small businesses who want to do the right thing and switch to cleaner vehicles across the UK.”
Christina Calderato, TfL’s Head of Transport Strategy and Planning, added: “We know that vans and heavy vehicles play a major part in the capital’s economy and are intrinsic to both logistics and leisure.
“Unfortunately the freight and coach sectors currently also make a significant contribution to London’s dirty air. That’s why we are providing these grants to help businesses green up and ensure Londoners can breathe more easily.”