London Has Just Expanded Its Low Emission Zone, But What Does This Mean For You?

October 27, 2021
Updated on:
September 10, 2023

London: Expansion of ULEZ & Ebikes

London’s recent expansion of it’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is a welcome step to helping cities move towards a more sustainable future. Naturally, as an e-bike provider whose mission is to transition every urban delivery mile away from highly-polluting vehicles, we believe that more can always be done to create cleaner cities - but we celebrate this newly expanded zone and the tone it creates. We hope this will be just the start. 

The updated environmental scheme, which targets vehicles that don’t meet the city’s low emission standards, came into effect this week, and will now encompass any trip within London’s North and South Circular Roads. 

While the increased radius of the ULEZ will mean cleaner air for many Londoners, the news isn’t particularly good for the city’s pollutive drivers. From the 25th October, all two and four wheel vehicles which aren’t up to the environmental code will be charged a daily fee of £12.50, with the potential for additional ongoing charges. We empathise with those who have been unable to upgrade their vehicles and who are now faced with this charge. We also invite those businesses and individuals to consider renting, buying or leasing e-bikes. 

What all of this updated policy and expanded geography means is surprisingly simple; the clean, green, money-saving machines of e-transport have never been more appealing. Londoners, your city is going green; it’s time to ride the wave.


The Promise of Fresh Air

Thanks to the expanded ULEZ, we’re one step closer to realisation of a sustainable and pollutant free London. But with a delivery fleet still largely reliant on ULEZ compliant petrol-fuelled mopeds (around 40% of UK’s delivery riders), there is still opportunity to improve. Emissions from petrol-mopeds could be entirely avoided should users make the switch to light electric vehicles (e-bikes, e-cargo bikes, e-mopeds).

In fact, when drivers opt for e-bikes over traditional delivery vehicles, they save an average of 200 grams of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere per kilometre, which for companies who’ve already opted for Zoomo travel, collectively saves 2MM pounds of carbon emissions every year. As one of the lowest carbon emitters on the market e-bikes produce just 22 grams of CO2 per kilometre. For those doing the maths, that’s less than 1/10th of what a petrol-fuelled car produces, making it one of the most sustainable forms of transport in the long-term.      

The Polluter Pays

If the environmental incentives weren’t enough, then the expanded ULEZ policy also promises monetary saving, shrinking both your CO2 footprint and your spending on excess costs. If you currently ride an ineligible vehicle, then you can expect an annual cost of over £4,500 for daily entry into London. Meanwhile, on the greener side of town, e-bike couriers can travel both cost-free throughout the city. 

The Sustainable Solution

But travelling itself is only half of the financial battle, you also need to source and keep the right bike. With its focus on accessibility, Zoomo offers a flexible financial plan which reduces entry costs, and its subscription model makes getting behind the handlebars a cheap and easy process for riders of all stripes. Aside from subscription, Zoomo makes bikes available for outright purchase and on a rent-to-own basis, giving bikers multiple options as they switch from petrol for electric.

With its range of e-transport alternatives, Zoomo’s sustainable and inexpensive solution empowers businesses and couriers to shrink their environmental footprint without breaking the bank. 

As the dust settles on the new zone and its accompanying laws, there remains an important need for education for many impacted drivers on our roads. Although the zone represents an important path to cleaner modes of transport, it is not enough to simply punish those using pollutive vehicles but instead we play a role in educating businesses and couriers on other, greener means of transport.

We need to start seeing governments reward businesses and couriers for their adoption of e-bikes and more broadly, encourage the use of e-bikes for both commercial and consumer use. 

For now, if you’re thinking about making the switch (hello savings and cleaner air), you can find out more about our full range of e-bikes here.    

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