Software-as-a-Service provider QV Systems has won a contract to provide a new digital platform that will enable businesses and other commercial vehicle operators to apply for central government support to buy low-emission vehicles ahead of the introduction of the Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone on 30 May 2022.
The new Financial Support Scheme service, due to launch in November, is built on QV Systems’ Accelerate technology, the end-to-end system for automotive lending, leasing, and financing.
The service will enable any Greater Manchester business to check their eligibility for, and access to, grants and subsidised finance to upgrade their vehicle or fleet so they would be compliant when the Clean Air Zone is introduced and thereby not pay a daily charge to drive in the Zone.
The process is fully automated: businesses just need to enter their details to check their eligibility, before being presented with a range of funding options from approved lenders and brokers.
Vehicles included in the category C Clean Air Zone are LGVs, HGVs, buses, coaches, minibuses, motorhomes, private hire vehicles and hackney carriages which do not meet emissions standards. Private cars, mopeds and motorcycles are not included in the Zone.
All ten Greater Manchester local authorities have approved the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan which contains a raft of measures to help tackle the problem of air pollution. These include securing over £120m in government funding to support local businesses upgrade to cleaner, compliant vehicles so they can travel in a Greater Manchester-wide Clean Air Zone without incurring a daily charge.
Applications for funding support will open from November this year, and the Clean Air Zone will commence in May 2022 for buses, HGVs and out of area hackney and private hire vehicles and in June 2023, for light goods vehicles, Greater Manchester registered taxis and PHV’s, minibuses and coaches.
Councillor Andrew Western, Greater Manchester lead for Clean Air, said: “As a city region, we are committed to tackling air pollution, which is the biggest environmental public health issue facing the city-region and contributes to around 1,200 deaths in Greater Manchester alone each year.
“That’s why we have developed a Clean Air Plan that not only helps us meet government requirements on nitrogen dioxide air pollution, but also delivers the funding support for those businesses, individuals and organisations who need to upgrade their vehicle to become compliant.
“We are looking forward to working with QV Systems to help us deliver the plan, improve the quality of our air and ensure Greater Manchester continues to be a healthy, sustainable and happy place to grow up, get on and get old.”
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the developers of the Clean Air Plan, have opted for the Accelerate platform as it represents a proven technology which is already used by UK car manufacturers, brokerages, and automotive lenders, rather than building an eligibility and funding platform from scratch which could have taken years.
Daniel Layne (pictured), founder and CEO of QV Systems said: “This decade will see one of the biggest transformations in the history of personal transportation, with the phasing out of new petrol and diesel in favour of more environmentally friendly vehicles. The UK’s targets for clean air and the transition to greener fleets are among the most ambitious in the world.
“For local authorities, the challenge is how to help businesses access government funding. Greater Manchester has shown how proven technologies like Accelerate enables them to deliver these projects successfully within short timeframes, and to start delivering cleaner, healthier cities for all.”
Appeal for vehicle dealers
TfGM is seeking vehicle dealers to join the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan accredited dealership scheme. The aim is to create a network of dealers who supply vehicles of the types that will be affected by the Clean Air Zone, from hackney cabs and private hire vehicles to lorries, vans, minibuses, buses and coaches.
Megan Black, TfGM’s head of logistics and Environment, said: “This isn’t a scrappage scheme, and it’s not open to brokers. We’re looking to work with independent, franchised and manufacturer direct dealerships for both new and used vehicles to help make sure that those eligible for financial support from the scheme can easily upgrade to compliant vehicles.
“I’d encourage any dealers who meet our criteria to register their interest now.”
It is free-of-charge to become a financial support scheme-accredited dealership and more information is available at cleanairgm.com/dealerships or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org