I was a bit slow with this update. The results of the Congestion Charge consultation I mentioned last year have now been made public. As expected, the Greener Vehicle Discount (GVD) will be replaced by the Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED). To quote TfL:
To qualify for the new ULED, vehicles will have to be either electric or be cars and vans that emit 75g/km or less of CO2and meet the Euro 5 emission standard for air quality.
This effectively means that for the near future at least, this closes the 100% discount for all but electric vehicles, as I’m not aware of any petrol or diesels that would qualify.
The penalty charge will also rise from £120 to £130 from 20th May 2013, and it will no longer be possible to pay for the daily charge in shops from 26th July 2013.
The ULED will come into force on 1st July 2013 but anyone who has been accepted onto the GVD by that time will be allowed to stay on it for three years. This was apparently extended from two years after lobbying from the BVRLA. This was probably vital for their members as typically most contract hire agreements are for three years. This means that anyone currently getting a GVD qualifying vehicle on a three year lease could be covered for the entirety of their contract.