Vehicle congestion is getting so bad in London that the city is implementing a fee to drive on its roads.
The charge is starting at â‚¤10 ($16) per day, a high enough fee to keep some people from driving altogether. For someone who drives every day, thatâ€™s a pretty costly price on top of gas and everything else involved with owning a vehicle.
However, the fee doesnâ€™t apply to everyone. There are about 19,000 vehicles in the city that manage to escape the fee because their engines emit less than 100 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.
Come July, even fewer vehicles will be exempt from the fee. The levels will be cut to less than 75 grams of CO2 per kilometer, meaning only all-electric and some hybrid vehicles will make the cut. Owners of these vehicles will enjoy two years of exemption before they are required to pay the fee as well, assuming it is still in place.
There are mixed reactions as to whether this will actually help cut emissions. According to a recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, EVs are cleaner than gas-powered vehicles even when obtaining electricity from a coal-fired power plant. Many receive power from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and other clean energy sources, so there is no telling how many are actually cleaner than projected.
This is a pretty big step to take if Mayor Boris Johnson signs it into law, and it will no doubt have strong mixed reactions. What do you think will happen? Will it help the city cut emissions? Relieve congestion?
Would you be willing to pay an extra â‚¤10 every day you hit the road?
Image CC licensed by Florian Boyd: London traffic