Firstly, what are CAZ and ULEZ?
A Clean Air Zone (CAZ) is an area of a city where the local government has implemented measures to improve air quality. It is important to note there are two types of CAZ: non-charging and charging.
- In a non-charging CAZ, the focus is on improving air quality without charging money for vehicles entering the zone itself. Measures can include retrofitting certain vehicles with pollution controls, traffic-flow management to reduce vehicle emissions, rerouting traffic, or other local solutions.
- In a charging zone, drivers must pay a fee to enter the area if their vehicle fails to meet the required environmental standards for that zone. Current requirements are based on a car’s Euro emissions standard.
Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is essentially the same as a CAZ but is specific to an area of central London, where tight emissions control regulations and charges are regulated. The main difference to note, with ULEZ, London’s local authorities must charge those who don’t abide by the regulations, but with CAZ, local authorities have the choice of whether to apply charges.
Why and how are CAZ and ULEZ impacting fleets?
Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanding across all London boroughs from Tuesday, 29 August 2023, more than doubling the zone’s existing area inside the M5 perimeter. Expanding ULEZ to be London-wide will save 27,000 tonnes of CO2 in outer London. This expansion is forecasted to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from cars and vans by 7-10%. Although this is good news for the environment, fleets need to know where the ULEZ are and understand the possible costs and charges. Vehicles exempt from ULEZ include petrol cars/vans that meet Euro 4 standards, diesel cars/vans that meet Euro 6 standards, plus fully electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid vehicles. Each local authority can set its own charges by vehicle type- this can be hard to track manually, especially if your fleet travels through different zones.
CAZ can be ‘charging’ or ‘non-charging,’ so fleets need to understand and track the zones efficiently. That said, with over 70 cities and towns outside of London looking to introduce CAZ in the next 2-3 years, it is predicted one-third of commercial vehicles risk incurring charges in these zones in 2023. Whether a vehicle gets charged while in a CAZ depends on the vehicle type and its euro standard.
AssetWorks’ Clean Air Module (CAZ)
AssetWorks strives to always keep fleets compliant and cost-effective, so we created our CAZ module in early 2020. We analysed the requirements of over 50,000 vehicles and 2,500 depots and ensured if an area developed a charging zone, any fleet could track their daily charges per each vehicle in that zone. The module has developed further and has been added it to our core software FleetFocus, as it quickly became essential for our customers to stay compliant.
Fleets often get charged due to their inability to see when charges come in. The CAZ module enables fleets to set up changing zones to identify non-compliant vehicles and daily charges to keep vehicles compliant and costs. Fines from driving in a CAZ can range up to £1,000. If your fleet regularly incurs these costs, it could damage your budget.
AssetWorks CAZ module allows fleets to link to departments and vehicle types for extra analysis, such as replacement planning. Replacement planning is easier to act with AssetWorks; the module takes all your vehicles in a charging zone that is non-compliant and highlights which assets to move to another depot where there is non-CAZ charging. This option works best for older assets, as CAZ is proving operating older fleets are more costly.
If you combine this with the other software available such as geo-fencing, it can help fleets claim back their charges easily. For example, fleets can run a weekly report on which vehicles entered ULEZ with data on how long they stayed for evidence when claiming back the charges.
Summary of the benefits of the CAZ module:
- All vehicles stay compliant in the ever-expanding Ultra Low Emission Zones
- Makes replacement planning easier; move your non-compliant vehicles to a non-charging zone
- Never be caught out with extra fees from Ultra Low Emission Zones