London’s low emission zone could trigger van shortage

London, UK: London’s ultra low emission zone, set to apply to the capital from the end of August, could trigger a shortage of emission-compliant vans.

Figures from Auto Trader magazine– used by around 80% of UK vehicle retailers – show there are 5,181 vans for sale across London and southeast England on its online marketplace. The UK total is 23,803.

To avoid the emission-zone fee, diesel vehicles must meet Euro 6 standards. This means the vast majority of vans and generally covers those registered from 2016.

Denise Beedell, senior policy manager, Logistics UK, said demand for Euro 6 vehicles has only intensified as a result of Covid and the war in Ukraine affecting the automotive supply chain.

“Businesses that rely on second hand vehicles, such as SMEs, have only limited options for purchasing a Euro-6 vehicle, and delays on the delivery of electric vehicles are also preventing operators from switching their fleets at this point.”

As a result, in July 2022 Logistics UK called on TfL to introduce mitigations to allow those who can demonstrate that they have ordered – or plan to order – a new or replacement compliant vehicle, to remain exempt from additional charges should they not receive their vehicle delivery in time for the proposed ultra low emission zone expansion start date.