London’s electric vehicle drivers will soon have to pay the congestion charge

Regularly drive an electric vehicle (EV) through central London? Get ready for it to get quite a bit more expensive. From December 25 2025, TfL says EVs will no longer be able to drive through the city for free and will be subject to the same £15-a-day congestion charge currently incurred by other drivers. 

Zero-emission vehicles haven’t had to cough up the hefty fee since October 2021, instead paying just £10 a year to cruise through Congestion Charge Zone areas including Westminster, Holborn, Farringdon, Marylebone and the City. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan introduced the exemption for battery-powered motors hoping that more road users would make the switch to EVs, and the incentive worked: thousands of motorists were convinced to trade their fuel-hungry cars for cleaner alternatives. 

TfL’s decision could potentially impact up to 100,000 e-car owners in London. It claims that extending the fee to all vehicles will improve traffic flow on roads in the centre of the capital.

A TfL spokesperson defended the decision and said: ‘Ending the Cleaner Vehicle Discount from 25 December 2025 will maintain the effectiveness of the Congestion Charge, which is in place to manage traffic and congestion in the heart of London.’ 

Predictably, TfL’s change in policy has drawn criticism. The AA described the new policy as ‘a turkey bone in the throat for EV owners who heeded his call to switch to green vehicles and improve air quality in the capital’.  

TfL stands by its eco-friendly policies and credits the Low Emission and Ultra-Low Emission Zones for 70,000 fewer non-compliant vehicles on London roads. 

So, EV drivers – enjoy 18 more months of congestion zone discount while you can! The congestion charge zone is active between the hours of 7am and 6pm on weekdays and 12pm to 6pm on weekends. 

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