At the end of 2022, there were over 40 million licensed vehicles in the UK. While this is great news for car retailers and garages, the rise in pollution has led to the introduction of Clean Air Zones in several large cities throughout the country to improve air quality. Bath, Birmingham and Portsmouth all introduced clean air zones in 2021, with Bristol and Bradford following suit last year.
Although Manchester’s plans to introduce a clean air plan in 2022 were put on hold following the pandemic, the recent deadline to submit additional evidence to the government has left drivers wondering how much being on the road could cost them in the future. Here we look at the benefits of driving an EV in a big city, whether Manchester’s clean air plans could impact car owners and why owning an electric vehicle charging cable could make journeys cheaper in more ways than one.
What will Manchester’s Clean Air Zone mean for drivers?
At the time of writing, Manchester’s clean air zone plans are unclear. Originally set to be introduced in May last year, they are currently under consideration, although the government has instructed the city to meet the legal limits for nitrogen dioxide on local roads by 2026 at the latest. So, what does this mean for car owners? Despite the original plan excluding private cars from being charged for using Manchester’s roads, minibuses, Hackney cabs, courier vans who deliver into the city, and private hire vehicles weren’t going to escape as lightly and would need to pay up. That is hardly good news if driving is your bread and butter and you want to keep costs down.
How can EVs help make road travel cheaper?
If you’re a small business owner relying heavily on road travel, switching from fossil fuel-powered wheels to an EV with an electric car charger could save you from paying daily charges in the future. Because of their zero-emissions status, owners of EVs won’t have to concern themselves with any changes to clean air legislation in Manchester.
By having a charging point fitted at home, drivers will be able to use their electric vehicle charger to power up their battery overnight and then hit the road without worrying about incurring extra charges on their journey. Even with the fluctuating price of electricity, the different energy tariffs available make charging your EV cheaper than filling it up with petrol, so you can reduce your everyday running costs straight away. The way that electric vehicles have improved their branding recently means that more people are turning towards driving electric vehicles. There is no longer such an expectation of range anxiety or chargers setting on fire.
EVs make unexpected Clean Air Zone charges a thing of the past
As well as saving you from potential clean air zone fees in Manchester, owning an EV will also exempt you from charges when driving through other cities with CAZ or ultra-low emissions zones, such as London or Birmingham. Although there are different types of zones with their own rules, it’s not uncommon to visit somewhere new and then find you’re issued with a penalty weeks later because you didn’t realise using the roads incurred a charge.
Regardless of which city you’re driving in, once you have an EV, you won’t have to concern yourself with any driving admin or worry about unexpected fees. And with the government planning to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, there’s never been a better time to get ahead of the charges that make road travel more expensive.