Smog fears prompt Leeds motorists to go electric

POLLUTION: Leeds is set to impose charges on drivers taking high emission cars into the city from 2019.
POLLUTION: Leeds is set to impose charges on drivers taking high emission cars into the city from 2019.
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Rising pollution fears are sparking increasing interest in electric cars.

New research from Consumer Intelligence shows two out of three drivers are concerned about the risk to health from air pollution and support is growing for tougher measures to tackle it.

The research found 41 per cent would back bans on cars in cities. And 45 per cent want more councils to impose charges on drivers taking high emission cars into cities following the lead of London which introduces charges from October. Other cities including Leeds, Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton are planning charges from 2019.

Ian Hughes, chief executive of Consumer Intelligence said: “The Government ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 has turned the spotlight on electric cars and the issue of air pollution.

“It is clear drivers are concerned about the environmental impact of their vehicles and open to a range of tougher measures than might have been expected.”

Car manufacturers including BMW, Mercedes and Ford have launched scrappage schemes for diesel and petrol owners with details of a possible Government scheme due in the November Budget.

However, the switch to electric cars could stall outside cities, the research shows. Around 85 per cent of drivers believe electric cars are suitable for people living in cities while 54 per cent say electric vehicles will never be an alternative for people living outside cities.

Mr Hughes added: “But the major roadblock remains the issue of the cost of moving to electric cars as well as whether they are suitable for anyone who lives outside major cities and would have to rely on charging stations being available.”

The poll also discovered Around 64 per cent of drivers believe electric cars are more expensive to run while 53 per cent think they are more expensive to insure.

‘T Charge’ starts on October 23

A toxicity charge is due to come into effect in London Later this month.

PetrolPrices.com said ‘The T Charge’ will try and reduce air pollution in the city. It starts on October 23 and aims to discourage the use of older cars on the road, as these produce the most dangerous fumes. Transport for London said on its website that cars, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and HGVs in central London will need to meet minimum exhaust emission standards, or pay a daily £10 emissions surcharge. It is in addition to the Congestion Charge. It will operate from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, bar Bank Holidays.

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