Five Fuel Tips for UK Uber Drivers
Along with London, Birmingham and Leeds, Manchester has announced plans to introduce a Clean Air Zone (CAZ). This is designed to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles, including private hire. However, unlike Birmingham and Leeds, Manchester’s proposal will cover all of Greater Manchester, not just the city centre. That’s an area of more than 500 square miles!
Additionally, the UK Government is pressing Greater Manchester to bring the date of CAZ regulation forwards from 2023 to 2021 – a mere 18 months from now. Clearly, the clean air wars are heating up – which leaves Uber drivers with a problem: If the choice is change my car or pay a daily fine, what do I buy? Diesel, petrol, hybrid or electric? The fuel that drives your next car could make all the difference to your business, so what’s best for you?
Here are five tips to help you make the call:
1. Diesel could be more costly.
Clean air regulation is designed to reduce something called NO2. It’s a toxic exhaust gas jammed with harmful particles. Both petrol and diesel vehicle engines produce NO2, but diesel produces more. In London, clean air rules have already hit owners of diesels harder than petrol. This means it’s reasonable to expect other cities to follow suit. Buying a diesel now for better mileage may be short-term thinking if you’re forced to sell the car for peanuts a few months down the road.
2. If you rarely drive in town, you may not need to worry.
If your business is mainly long motorway runs, set in a rural area or focused on out-of-city airport rides, the effect of central CAZ may not impact you. In which case, buying a diesel still makes sense. However, be aware that Highways UK, which manages the nation’s motorways is also drawing up clean air rules, so you could still get caught in a sprawling CAZ net.
3. Hybrid is no guarantee of an exemption.
Just because you bought a petrol/electric hybrid, don’t think you’re home free. Laws change. In London, hybrids were once exempt from the congestion charge, but as of 2021 they no longer are. You could buy a more costly hybrid and soon find it offers you no CAZ benefit.
4. The push for all-electric is gathering steam.
The UK Government wants all-electric cars on our roads. Most major motor manufacturers are gearing up for all-electric. In Norway, they’re introducing wi-fi charging for electric taxis. The future is battery powered. Yes, there’s currently a shortage of charging points and electric vehicles suffer from limited range, but the momentum is with this technology. Expect more places to plug in, wi-fi charging and greater range very soon. (See chart).
5. The best way to go is…
If you drive in town, buy an efficient petrol less than five years old, or go all-electric. If you drive motorways or in the country, diesel still has a role. Hybrid may cost you more than it is worth in the long run. All-electric cars seem to offer the only guarantee of safety from expanding clean-air rules, so as the tech improves and charging points increase, consider the move to battery power.
|TOP FIVE ALL-ELECTRIC CARS FOR RANGE (According to US Environmental Protection Agency)|
|Tesla Model S (Range: 335 Miles)|
|Tesla Model 3 (Range: 310 Miles)|
|Tesla Model X (Range: 295 Miles)|
|Hyundai Kona Electric (Range: 258 Miles)|
|Audi E-Tron (Range: 248 Miles)|
|Chevrolet Bolt EV (Range: 238 Miles)|
|Jaguar i-Pace (Range: 234 Miles)|
|Nissan Leaf-E (Range: 226 Miles)|
Manchester joining other big cities with clean-air zone.
Many PHV drivers face paying a daily fine or changing their car.
Which is best? Diesel, petrol, hybrid or all-electric?
Diesel cars face biggest threat and toughest rules.
Out of town PHV drivers may still be able to use diesel.
Hybrid cars cost more but may also face tough rules.
All-electric cars will soon have more places to charge and better range.
SOURCES & LINKS:
Manchester CAZ: https://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&edid=de852028-4ba8-4b60-8a1d-59c91572a9f2
London hybrid congestion charge rules: https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/fleet-industry-news/2018/12/20/plug-in-hybrids-will-face-london-congestion-charge-from-2021
Electric cars range: https://www.myev.com/research/comparisons/the-longest-range-electric-vehicles-for-2019/slide-2