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Barcelona has Southern Europe’s largest LEZ

Since the start of this year, Barcelona has the largest low-emissions zone (LEZ) in all of Southern Europe. The LEZ covers 95 km2 of the city and its suburbs.
Launched on 1 January, the LEZ (in Catalan: ZBE, for Zona de Baixes Emissions) will be in effect from Monday to Friday, from 7 am to 8 pm. The LEZ (in green on the map) covers the entire metropolitan area and the city’s outer suburbs but excludes the primary ring-road circling the city.
Grace period
After a grace period of three months (in which they will receive a notification instead of a fine), drivers of petrol cars registered before 2000 (i.e. before Euro 3) or diesel cars made before 2006 (i.e. before Euro 4) will be fined (€100-150) when entering the zone between these hours.
The grace period extends to one year for delivery drivers and for people who can prove they earn less than €8,000 a year. About 150 cameras have been installed to help with enforcement. In practice:
• Spanish cars entering Barcelona during the LEZ’s hours of operation will need an appropriate eco-vignette: 0 (blue), Eco (blue/green), C (green), B (yellow).
• Foreign cars (i.e. without access to Spanish eco-vignettes) may only enter the Barcelona LEZ during its hours of operation if they have the appropriate permission, which must be obtained from the Barcelona city authorities. Access is limited to 10 days a year. An administrative fee of €2-5 will be charged.
• Drivers with a handicapped card are exempt from the restrictions.
Air quality
Barcelona has consistently been in violation of the EU air quality standards since 2002. Between 2010 and 2017, poor air has been judged responsible for a yearly average of 424 premature deaths.
But for Barcelona, the LEZ is about more than reducing pollution and improving public health. The measure is also designed to reduce traffic, and improve the liveability of the public spaces in the city centre. In that sense, the measure is an addition to the introduction of the first ‘superblock’ in 2016, whereby vehicle access was removed in nine city blocks and replaced with cycle lanes, play areas and green spaces.
The LEZ is just one way in which Barcelona aims to reduce the number of cars on its roads by 125,000 within three years, and air pollution by a quarter in four years. Additional measures, such as a London-style congestion charge, may be brought in when the LEZ alone doesn’t help the city meet its targets. Barcelona currently counts six such ‘superblocks’, and 11 more are in the works. The city eventually wants as many as 503 ‘superblocks’ throughout the city.
Authored by: Frank Jacobs

ALD Carsharing launches in France, Netherlands and Spain

ALD has launched its fully digital corporate carsharing solution in three more countries. Corporate customers in France, the Netherlands and Spain can now benefit from ALD Carsharing, which allows employees to share a pool of corporate vehicles.
ALD Carsharing was already operational in Germany, Italy and Denmark. Further rollout of ALD Carsharing is currently being prepared in Norway. To date, the platform manages a total of more than 2,500 vehicles, primarily in Italy. Given the recent launches elsewhere and the new countries added now, these numbers look destined to increase shortly, and sharply.
Twin benefits
As ALD’s proprietary corporate carsharing platform ALD Carsharing allows employees to share a pool of company vehicles, for both professional and private use. The platform produces twin benefits: better fleet usage, and lower mobility costs.
Thanks to an in-house digital platform and a dedicated app, ALD Carsharing is flexible, easy to use and covers the entire driver journey. Employees book their trips via the app and have keyless access to the pool cars.
Employee satisfaction
By its very nature, carsharing is more cost-efficient and environmentally friendly than the one-driver-one-car model. From a corporate perspective, carsharing is especially useful to address parking limitations, enhance employee satisfaction by providing cars for personal use, optimise fleet assets and limit spend on taxis and other means of transport.
This is how ALD Carsharing works: each vehicle is equipped with an On-Board Unit (OBU)  that allows fleet managers to monitor fleet availability and usage in real-time, and evaluate TCO for each vehicle in order to optimise usage. The system runs on a digital platform developed by ALD’s own Centre of Excellence in Italy.
Key player
Carsharing provides other benefits than those of scale. It’s a very effective way to introduce and integrate electric vehicles (EVs) into a corporate fleet. Shared use of EVs is proven to help drivers overcome range anxiety and other issues with EVs. This will promote the mainstreaming of sustainable mobility and help lower CO2 emissions.
ALD has developed its corporate carsharing solution with just this in mind. “ALD Carsharing is helping to shape our urban mobility offering going forward, as well as supporting our sustainable growth strategy as a key player in the energy transition,” says John Saffrett, Deputy CEO at ALD.
Authored by: Frank Jacobs

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