A range of low-emission vehicles, including one of the world's first hydrogen-diesel vans, is to be trialled across nine London boroughs as part of a £2.5m scheme to tackle air pollution at a local level.

The mayor of London and TfL will provide £1.4m in funding, which will be matched by a £1.1m from the London boroughs involved in the scheme that aims to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’.

The 'neighbourhoods' aim to break down the barriers preventing people from buying ultra-low-emission vehicles.

They include initiatives like a zero-emission zone, ‘electric streets’ that have a high concentration of electric vehicle charge points and trials of ultra-low-emission commercial vehicles.

Following bids from the local areas involved, the six ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’ are:

  • Hammersmith & Fulham – A zero-emission zone is proposed for Hammersmith town centre, including standard and rapid charge points for electric vehicles, as well as improvements to public space and other innovations such as sustainable urban drainage.
  • Heathrow – A trial of one of the UK’s first hydrogen-diesel powered vans will take place at Heathrow Airport’s delivery consolidation centre, supporting the reduction of emissions from its day-to-day operations.
  • City fringe (Hackney, Islington and Tower Hamlets) – ‘Electric streets’ will be created – with a concentration of charging points and electric vehicle-only parking and loading points.
  • Harrow – Mechanics will be specially trained to service ultra-low-emission vehicles. Electric vehicle charging points will be installed in Harrow town centre, and local businesses will trial the use of EV fleets.
  • Haringey – Clean energy charging schemes will be trialled, including a rapid charging taxi rank, in addition to specialist business and community engagement to drive awareness of green technology and encourage behaviour change.
  • Croydon & Sutton – Electric vans and trucks will be loaned to businesses in the Beddington Industrial Area, to reduce pollution caused by the high levels of construction in Croydon town centre.

‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’ forms a part of the £13m Go Ultra Low Cities scheme, the government-funded drive to encourage the switch to electric cars and vans.