A row broke out last month after Sadiq Khan announced new plans to crack down on pollution - but exempted black cabs from the £12.50 round-the-clock charge.
According to the Evening Standard, Uber said Londoners would be shocked that the Mayor had excluded black taxis from his ultra low emission zone as they are responsible for almost a fifth of nitrogen oxide fumes in central London.
The ULEZ, which is due to start on April 8, 2019, does however apply to police cars, ambulances and fire engines - forcing the capital’s emergency services to spend millions replacing their older vehicles.
As the Standard reported last month, more than 800 emergency vehicles will breach the new emission rules.
The ULEZ plans, which are now subject to further consultation, will cover the same central London area as the congestion charge but operate 24/7. Drivers who fail to pay the charge will be fined. The £12.50 charge is on top of the weekday £11.50 congestion charge.
Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said: “Londoners will, however, be astounded that the Mayor has exempted black cabs from measures which apply to everyone else. This is particularly surprising since TfL’s own figures show black taxis are responsible for 18 per cent of road transport nitrogen oxide emissions in central London.”
The Met has 736 vehicles that will not meet the new rules by 2019. The fire brigade has 52 and London Ambulance Service said it had 828 diesel vehicles that were not compliant but hoped to reduce this to 86 by 2020.
City Hall said black cabs were being exempted as they would be covered by separate licensing rules being introduced by TfL.
From next year, all new black cabs will have to be able to run with “zero emissions” or will not receive a licence. However it could take more than a decade for the already-licensed black cabs to be replaced.
Londoners reacted with dismay and puzzlement at the decision to exempt black cabs. They said the vehicles were among the worst offenders, with huge ranks of cabs belching diesel fumes as they sit idling outside train stations.
St Pancras and Paddington - where drivers queue illegally in Craven Road, despite a vast new rank having been built inside the station - are among the worst offenders.
Asked why black cabs were being exempted, the Mayor’s spokesman said: “As part of our bold plans to tackle air pollution, TfL are using the licensing powers they have to clean up London’s black cabs.
“From 2018, all new black cabs will have to be zero emission capable – plug in or hybrid vehicles. TfL is also providing £40 million in funding to help retire older black cabs more quickly.”
Petrol vehicles which fail to meet Euro 4 standards, and diesel vehicles that do not meet Euro 6 standards, will have to pay. Cars, vans and motorbikes will be charged £12.50. Buses, coaches and HGVs will pay £100.
City Hall estimates that petrol cars more than 13 years old in 2019, and diesel cars more than four years old in 2019, will not meet the new standards.
Mr Khan is further proposing to extend the ULEZ across Greater London for heavy diesel vehicles, including buses, coaches and lorries, in 2020, and up to the North and South Circular roads for cars and vans in 2021. More than 150,000 Londoners are likely to be caught by the 2021 expansion. Although the exact rate for the “outer ring” has yet to be decided, it could be as low as £3 or £4 a day.