Low-emission vehicles could be given green number plates to promote awareness of electric and hydrogen vehicles to other drivers.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has opened a consultation looking into the use of the special number plates, which could be fitted to low emission cars, vans and taxis.

As well as encouraging further uptake of these vehicles, the green plates could help to incentivise EVs – including giving them access to local bus lanes and ultra-low emission zones. Some areas in London and Edinburgh have already implemented zones for low-emission vehicles only at certain times, with other cities set to follow suit.

While the style of the proposed plates has not been announced, ideas the government is considering are green front and rear plates, identification on the sides of the vehicle, or green symbols.

Countries such as Norway, Canada and China already use a similar system to promote awareness of EVs.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “The UK has a proud history of leading the world in technological advances and that is no different for ultra-low emission vehicles, where we are at the forefront of innovation and testing.

“Adding a green badge of honour to these new clean vehicles is a brilliant way of helping increase awareness of their growing popularity in the UK, and might just encourage people to think about how one could fit into their own travel routine.”

The DfT has also hinted that this could pave the way for further “eye-catching” plates in future years.

The plans have been announced ahead of the UK’s first Zero Emission Vehicle Summit, which is being held tomorrow. Theresa May will also be making a speech at the event. The summit will involve nations from around the world and aim to showcase the UK as one of the best places for EV innovation.

Ted Welford


September 10, 2018