Electric cars will get a green “flash” on their number plates from this Autumn to make them easily identifiable as zero-emission vehicles.

This change aims to help local councils easily distinguish them and ultimately help incentivise car owners into making the switch to zero-emissions motoring by offering schemes like cheaper parking or free entry to congestion zones.

The announcement comes as part of a bigger plan to drive a green economic recovery, which aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This includes a £12m investment into the zero-emission market, as well as supporting firms looking into battery technology and charging infrastructure.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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.”

The plans to kick start a greener automotive economy comes as the government is considering a new scrappage scheme that could offer motorists, who trade in their petrol or diesel car, up to £6,000 towards the cost of an electric vehicle. While not confirmed yet, further details on this scheme are set to be announced in July.

Currently the government incentivises electric car ownership by giving a £3,000 grant towards a new EV, along with a further £350 to put towards a home charging point. Electric cars are also exempt from road tax, while company car drivers can take advantage of a zero per cent benefit-in-kind in the current 2020/21 financial year.