Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones – financing the change

Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones – financing the change

In the same way that Scania is driving the shift towards more sustainable transport solutions, so too are local authorities around the country rising to the challenge of a cleaner, greener future. Accordingly, this year will see an unprecedented number of new Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and Low Emission Zones (LEZ) come into force around the UK.


Firstly, to explain the terminology, the government defines a CAZ as: An area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality and resources are prioritised and coordinated in order to shape the urban environment in a way that delivers improved health benefits and supports economic growth. An LEZ can therefore form part of a CAZ plan or, as we have already seen in cities such as London and Glasgow, be introduced a stand-alone piece of legislation. One other item to note is that CAZ come in four types, known as Classes A-D, further information on which can be found here.


While CAZs and LEZs vary in terms of their scope and rules, the overriding factor of interest to transport operators is that any failure to comply means there will be a heavy price to pay. For example in London, where the former LEZ was superseded by an Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2019, the cost per day for a non-compliant truck is £100. The fact that London's ULEZ was expanded in 2021 to cover an area 18 times larger than its original central London zone, clearly indicates how we can expect the picture to develop as the drive for sustainability progressively gathers momentum.


Inevitably, transport operators will ultimately have little choice but to re-equip with CAZ- or LEZ-compliant vehicles should they wish to remain in business. In addition of the question of which type of vehicle to buy – Scania, for example, can already offer a choice of compliant vehicles powered by fuels such as biodiesel, HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) and biogas, as well as various electrified and hybrid options – the method of funding is also a bridge that has to be crossed.


This is where Scania Financial Services (SFS) comes in, as Sales and Marketing Director David Hickman explains: "Our role is to help operators adopt new technology with a minimum of stress and disruption to their businesses," he says. "To do this we take a collaborative approach, working in close partnership with Scania's commercial team and our dealers to develop innovative and flexible solutions."


What this means in practice is that SFS's team of industry finance specialists liaise with customers on an individual basis so as to gain an in-depth understanding of their business needs. By then looking at what the customer is prepared to pay in terms of a monthly cost, the SFS team look to develop a financial package which is both tailored to the transport task in hand and, crucially, affordable for the operator.


"Working with our customers in this way has long generated success," adds David Hickman. "So we are now looking forward to extending our service deeper into the sustainability arena in order to help our customers meet the challenges posed by CAZs and LEZs."


If you would like to find out more about the range of products and services SFS offers to help meet the demands of CAZs and LEZs, contact us here.

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