Electric vehicles are likely to soon feature green number-plates, easily distinguishing them from internal combustion engine models. The UK Government today (22nd October 2019) has launched a consultation to determine precisely how the plates will look and under what conditions they will apply.
The aim by the Department for Transport is to help local authorities with a visual identifier to make the introduction of incentives driving up EV uptake simpler. These could include the use of bus lanes, free or discounted parking, and access to clean air zones. With a green number-plate, both the authorities and other road users will find identifying eligible electric vehicles easier.
The consultation follows on from a similar scheme in Ontario, with EV drivers given free access to toll lanes and high-occupancy vehicle lanes. After implementation, the region saw an increase in EV registrations.
The UK has recently see a record number of electric cars registered in one month, and continues to see growth in the market when overall sales are declining. This new move comes as part of the Road to Zero strategy.
The consultation will look at potential designs for EV green plates, and also decide what vehicles are eligible for the new system. It is expected that only pure-electric models will receive the plates, but that is by no means decided. Retro-fitting existing eligible models is highly likely too, but again, nothing is fixed. The only set decision is that green plates would be rolled-out to the whole of the UK.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The UK is in the driving seat of global efforts to tackle vehicle emissions and climate change and improve air quality, but we want to accelerate our progress.
“Green number plates are a really positive and exciting way to help everyone recognise the increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads. By increasing awareness of these vehicles and the benefits they bring to their drivers and our environment, we will turbo-charge the zero emission revolution.”
Potential designs include a fully green plate with black lettering, the addition of a green band on the plate in a similar location to where the current EU country designation sits, or the addition of a green dot/symbol.
The above image is a mock-up of what green number-plates might look like on an EV, whilst below are three possible designs put forward by the government.