Oxford is one of those UK cities that likes to stand apart. With a reputation of nurturing leaders, the city seems to embrace the pioneering spirit, and recent reports regarding the local council’s decision to remove all petrol and diesel cars from the city streets by 2035 certainly reflects that. If ever there was a time to start thinking about switching over to electric car leasing in Oxford, that time is now.
Why leasing an electric vehicle in Oxford makes sense
Although 2035 may seem like some way off, the start of the phasing in process is a whole lot closer. Oxford City Council plans to begin implementing changes that will affect locals and visitors as soon as 2020. This makes sense, as bringing in the world’s first Zero-Emissions Zone overnight would undoubtedly cause havoc, so a slow and gradual change is exactly what’s called for.
The implementation of the project will begin with a few selected streets and will target non-zero-emitting cars, taxis, buses, and light commercial vehicles. The plan from there is to introduce two more ‘phases’ that will finally result in the entire city being free of the combustion engine once and for all.
With such a scheme in the offing, leasing an electric car in Oxford is clearly a wise move. While the first stage of the implementation is set to only remove non-zero-emitting vehicles from certain streets, the knock-on effect will undoubtedly have a greater impact. The first zero-emission zone is thought to be right in the heart of the city, and the ramifications for the outer areas are likely to be huge.
Oxford already has a poor reputation when it comes to traffic jams, so the upcoming road closures will make travelling across the city somewhat of a nightmare unless you are driving an electric vehicle. Business owners and fleet managers would benefit most from leasing electric vehicles in Oxford, but personal leases for those who use their cars regularly would also be advantageous.
Why are Oxford City Council introducing the plan now?
The key reason for the scheme’s introduction is the aforementioned traffic and the effect this has been having on air quality in the city. Certain parts of Oxford have been significantly breaching the World Health Organisation’s safe limits for toxic particles referred to as PM10s and parts of Oxford have also been in breach of the safe limits for another particle type, PM2.5s.
While Oxford is not alone (10 other cities across Britain also missed their targets), the city is committed to making drastic improvements on the current state of affairs. The aim is to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels significantly by 2035 – 74% on George Street, Oxford’s most polluted street – and as exhaust fumes are the main culprit (especially those from diesel engines), it makes perfect sense to target the combustion engine.
Whether people decide to buy or lease an electric car in Oxford is up to them, but the writing is certainly on the wall for petrol and diesel powered vehicles in the city.
What are the council doing to help?
No one likes to be told what to do, so it’s vitally important for local authorities such as Oxford City Council to lead by example, and thankfully they are doing just that. As part of their overall Sustainability Strategy, Oxford City Council have already introduced 17 fully electric vehicles, 22 hybrid vehicles, along with 9 electric bikes, making their fleet one of the greenest in the country.
The introduction of these vehicles, as well as their upcoming five year commitment to further extend their electric fleet, has also earnt the council recognition as a ‘Go Ultra Low Company’. This is an extremely positive move and one that is sure to encourage both personal drivers and business owners to either buy or lease electric cars in Oxford as the city moves ever closer to becoming the world’s first ‘Zero Emission Zone’.
How easy is it to run an electric vehicle in Oxford?
As well as introducing electric vehicles into their own fleet, Oxford City Council have also been making strides towards equipping the city with the infrastructure necessary to facilitate the move towards a zero emission zone. As part of their Low Emission Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan, the council are aiming to make life for electric car users as simple as possible, and this includes the introduction of greater numbers of recharging stations across the city.
They have also announced that they plan to investigate ways in which they may be able to incentivise the uptake of Oxford electric car leases or purchases across the city as well. Reduced parking charges have been touted as one possible option, along with a possibility for preferential parking areas for those using electric vehicles in and around the city centre. There are also plans for low and zero emission car clubs to be developed and promoted within the city, too.
As you can see, Oxford City Council are serious about becoming the world’s very first Zero Emission Zone and they’re putting their money where their mouth is by making it simple for residents and business owners alike to make the switch. So, does leasing an electric car in Oxford make sense? You bet it does!