Oxford Zero Emission Zone

Oxford Zero Emission Zone focuses fleet attention on electric transition

As fleets face charges for using fossil-fuelled vehicles in cities, Reflex Vehicle Hire is rolling out services to support the transition to electric cars and vans

Oxford has launched a new Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) pilot which charges all petrol and diesel vehicles to enter, providing a blueprint for other cities to launch their own schemes.

It is the first city to introduce a ZEZ in a bid to reduce toxic air pollution and encourage people to change travel behaviour.

Although the pilot is based on a small number of streets, it is the first step in a much wider zone that could be introduced by 2025.

Currently, vehicle charges vary from £2 to £10 per day, depending on emission levels, but by 2025 the charge could increase to a maximum of £20 per day.

Electric vehicles enter free of charge and there are discounts for vehicles that meet key standards for low emissions.

Entry is controlled by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, with fleets and drivers able to pay charges any time from six days in advance to six days after driving in the zone.

The move comes as fleets face a patchwork of legislation across the country as local authorities work to combat pollution.

A controversial plan to introduce a Clean Air Zone in Manchester was delayed recently amid fears the additional costs involved in paying tolls or renewing vehicles would harm local businesses.

However, the discussion provides a clear incentive for companies to investigate electric vehicles as the government’s proposed 2030 deadline approaches, when it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans.

Reflex Vehicle Hire is supporting fleets with the transition through the Reflex Renewable Drive programme, which puts fleet managers behind the wheel of the latest zero-emission vehicles.

This allows them to improve their knowledge to guide the development of future EV fleet strategies.

We have also launched EV:IE (Electric Vehicle Information Exchange), which is a fleet evaluation tool that analyses data on the current fleet and suggests alternative zero-emission models currently on sale.

Analysis using EV:IE focuses on three areas:

EV Range – EV:IE uses daily driving patterns to cross check against currently available plug-in cars and vans that deliver the required range, even considering the impact of payload and equipment.

Recharging – EV:IE identifies daily charging requirements, where they occur, and provides valuable insights on optimum recharging time for managers, such as a quick 10-minute stop at a public charger to add the range needed for the day’s tasks.

Cost – EV:IE avoids ‘greenflation’ through a detailed cost comparison between internal combustion-engined vehicles and electric alternatives. Data comparisons cover everything from funding to SMR and take account of variables, such as the proportion of public/private charging and tariffs. EV:IE establishes a clear TCO comparison between current models and potential replacements.

The service also offers a full calculation of potential CO2 savings from making the switch.

To discuss your electric vehicle requirements and how Reflex Vehicle Hire can help you transition to a cleaner future, contact one of our expert team members.


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