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Daily Express – ‘Still a long way to go’: Drivers question car tax changes as e-bikes see popularity boost

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expanded its area of operation at the end of October to include millions more residents and their vehicles. The aim of the ULEZ is to help reduce harmful Nitrogen Dioxide by around 30 percent across London as drivers with non-compatible vehicles are charged to drive in the area.

It has been estimated that air pollution contributes to around 4,000 premature deaths per year in the city, and as a result, cars who don’t meet air standards will need to pay £12.50 per day.

Transport for London says they do not profit from the ULEZ as they reinvest the money into improving the transport network, including cycleways, buses and the Tube.

David Watkins, COO and founder of e-bike company DASH Rides, said the ULEZ expansion is a good idea, but it does not go far enough for its goals.

Speaking with Express.co.uk, he said: “I think the ULEZ expansion is a catalyst to get some people to rethink how they travel.

“I know a few people who have older diesel vehicles that have been sort of forced to sell the or upgrade and buy a new car.

“So, the legislation itself has definitely forced people to consider that.

“I think a lot of the benefits of the ULEZ will have come in the last few years, with fleets and buses upgrading and everyone else looking to upgrade to remain compliant.

“It’s not necessarily a light switch fix, like today it will all happen, a lot of it is built in over time.

“What I would say though is that the ULEZ is directionally good, there is a massive air quality problem in London and the major source of that is vehicles, particularly internal combustion vehicles.

“However, one thing that I don’t think people appreciate is that a lot of the bad air quality, the root causes are different gases and some microparticles.

“Actually, a lot of those micropollutants (PM2.5), the source of that isn’t just the tailpipe.

“There’s a lot of research which shows that actually the source of that particulate matter is actually the brakes, brake dust and tyre dust and wear.

“If everyone moves to an electric vehicle world where everyone has an EV, it doesn’t fix those problems actually, those problems still exist.

“When people think electric cars are going to fix everything and actually it’s not true both from an air quality perspective as well as the manufacturing impact.

“If you think of all UK vehicles as a fleet of cars, moving that fleet from where we are today to a fleet of electric cars, the manufacturing impact that has is enormous.”

DASH Rides work with companies and riders across the UK to provide businesses with everything they need to achieve carbon neutrality through their e-bike subscription service.

They provide a 360 subscription service, which includes a helmet, insurance, repairs and maintenance of the e-bike, as they aim to provide Londoners with an alternative to cars.

Mr Watkins continued, saying: “I firmly believe the future of transport in cities will be electric but not in the way that people realise.

“An e-bike solution is incredibly convenient and lightweight compared to a car.

“I think it’s crazy that it’s seen as convenient way to move around the city as a single occupant as an 80 or 90 kilo human in a two and a half tonne car.

“That’s not an efficient way of moving someone. But with an e-bike, which is maybe 10 or 15 kilos, can move the exact same payload.

“We’ve got a long, long way to go with ULEZ. When someone is travelling by e-bike, it’s better for the person, it’s better for society and it’s better for the world.

Read the original article on the Daily Express