London EVs may have lone congestion-charge exemptions

Electric vehicle owners may be the last ones standing cruising next year when it comes to London drivers that can dodge the city's congestion charges, UK-based This Is Money reports. New emission rules, which would still have to be approved by Mayor Boris Johnson, would cut congestion-exempt vehicle-emissions limits by about 25 percent, leaving only electric vehicles and a few hybrids below that threshold. Currently, there are about 19,000 mostly small-diesel-engined vehicles in the city who don't have to pay the daily charge of 10 British pounds ($16).

Such a move would boost congestion-charge revenue, which totals about 169 million pounds ($271 million) a year, and may help plug-in vehicle sales as well. General Motors affiliate Vauxhall has sold only 450 Amperas (the Chevrolet Volt sister vehicle) despite the fact that the model won the European Car of the Year award earlier this year.

In July, Transport for London reported that deadbeat drivers owned about $270 million in late congestion-fee charges. The city had sent out about 200,000 letters during the past three years threatening legal action to those who won't pay.