Green colored number plates will be issued for electric cars. This is to make it easier for them to benefit from schemes designed to promote cleaner cars. The green plates would also make them easier to spot so they could use bus lanes without being fined, or pay reduced parking fees under government plans to encourage drivers to buy zero-emission vehicles.
The government has started consultations on this noble move to vouch for more electric cars on the roads. The consultation will seek views on what types of vehicles should be included in the green plate scheme. Hybrids and electric cars were both included in the scheme in Ontario, Canada, which introduced green plates almost a decade ago, allowing drivers to use lanes otherwise reserved for high-occupancy vehicles. The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Green number plates are a really positive and exciting way to help everyone recognize the increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads.”
The government’s behavioral insights team (Bit) said the distinctive plates would make people aware of fellow drivers’ decisions to drive greener vehicles. Elisabeth Costa, a senior director at Bit, said: “The number of clean vehicles on our roads is increasing but we don’t notice, as it’s difficult to tell clean vehicles apart from more polluting ones. Green number plates make these vehicles, and our decision to drive in a more environmentally friendly way, more visible on roads.”
When the green number plates are introduced could encourage more people to swap to the cleaner option. By 2040 the UK government wants to burn the combustion and move to purely electric cars.
The UK government is also currently consulting on whether all new homes with parking space should have mandatory electric car charge points built-in.
Potential green number plate designs include:
- A fully green number plate with black lettering
- The addition of a green flash on the plate
- The addition of a green dot or symbol