Fleet News

Emissions-based road charging project receives Government cash

Developers behind a project which will enable councils to charge vehicles to drive on city roads according to their real-time emissions, have received a £1m Government grant.  

The Air Car project, led by the Tantalum Corporation and Imperial College London, wants to combine emissions data, with a vehicle’s location and driver behaviour, to give the "real" environmental impact of individual vehicles.

Tantalum, which owns Tracker, is recruiting fleets from the public and commercial sectors as part of a 1,000-vehicle trial starting in the autumn, to “test and fine tune” the technology. It will run within London and other UK cities where Clean Air Zones (CAZs) are to be established.

Ozgur Tohumcu, Tantalum’s CEO, said: “Imagine your vehicle giving you routes that avoid sensitive areas such as schools while rewarding you financially for driving in a manner that saves fuel and reduces emissions. Your vehicle then automatically pays specific emissions charges based on where, when and how you drive.

“We are working with Imperial College and cities around the world to make this vision a reality.”

The £1m grant was awarded to Tantalum by Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency.

It was one of 38 automotive research and development projects to receive a a share of £109 million announced by the business secretary Greg Clark and transport minister John Hayes yesterday (April 11, 2017).

Tantalum says the technology will deliver the ability to enforce a “genuinely dynamic” road charging scheme based on vehicle emissions, which is “fairer and cheaper than the blunt instruments currently being proposed which rely on blanket camera coverage and do not motivate better driving”.


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  • Nigel Boyle - 12/04/2017 11:01

    I had conversations back and forth with the then Transport Minister four or five years ago proposing exactly this. It was flatly turned down with robust statements saying 'The existing system works perfectly' . I now know they took it on board and have shelled out £1M to get it going. Where is my commission?!

  • Derek Webb - 13/04/2017 11:58

    Why wouldn't the Government give cash and blessing to road charging "initiative". They have been trying to introduce this tax for years and now they can do so on the back of emissions and look like they are the good guy's.

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