The UK Government has confirmed that green number plates are set to be rolled out from autumn as part of a wider plan to promote low emission transport and drive a green economic recovery following the economic impacts of covid-19.
As part of the government’s plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, drivers will be encouraged to make the switch to electric vehicles through the introduction of green number plates. The plates will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero emission vehicles, helping local authorities design and put in place new policies to incentivise people to own and drive them.
For example, drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones where those with a green number plate will be recognised as eligible. The plates will be identifiable by a green flash on the left-hand side and will be available for zero emission vehicles only.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “A green recovery is key to helping us achieve our net zero carbon commitments while also promoting economic growth. Green number plates could unlock a number of incentives for drivers and increase awareness of cleaner vehicles on our roads, showing people that a greener transport future is within our grasp.
“We’re supporting small businesses to develop the transport tech of the future through a multi-million pound investment, ensuring that UK businesses remain at the forefront of low carbon innovation and research.”
The announcement of the new measure follows the conclusion of a consultation, inviting comments from the public, local authorities and industry stakeholders from a range of sectors including motoring and consumer groups and vehicle manufacturers on how best to introduce green number plates.
To further accelerate the government’s plans to drive a green recovery, £12 million funding for ground-breaking research into the zero-emission market has also been announced to develop greener vehicles and help improve vehicle charging technology.
The funding, made available through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) and delivered through Innovate UK, will see £10 million for a new Zero Emission Vehicle Innovation Competition. This will invite applicants to bid for project funding to support advancements in both battery electric and hydrogen vehicles, as well as charging infrastructure.
OLEV is also providing £2 million to UK small and medium businesses to support their research into zero-emission vehicles in areas such as battery technology, which could be used by major vehicle manufacturers in future electric vehicle production.