The first electric vehicles (EVs) will be given green number plates from today (Tuesday, December 8), with the Government suggesting the move could unlock incentives for drivers and fleets.
The new number plates can be retro-fitted to any existing vehicles, including cars, vans, buses, HGVs, taxis and motorcycles as long as they emit no CO2 emissions at the tailpipe.
They will consist of a green flash on the left-hand side of the plate and can be combined with the Union flag and national identifiers already permitted by the regulations.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean says that the green number plates build on last month’s announcement to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK by 2030.
She also believes that EV operators could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones.
She said: “Not only will green number plates raise awareness of the increasing number of cleaner vehicles on our roads, they could also unlock a number of incentives for drivers.
“It’s clear there has never been a better time to make the switch to a zero-emission vehicle.”
Ashley Barnett, head of consultancy at Lex Autolease, told Fleet News says that today’s introduction of green number plates to identify zero-emission vehicles on the UK’s roads will boost driver advocacy even further and will go a long way to keep up the momentum behind the Government’s Road to Zero strategy.
“The deadline to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 looms ever closer, so anything that simply and clearly communicates the benefits of electric vehicle adoption – from better parking spaces to accessing emissions-restricted zones - to a wider audience is a welcome shot in the arm,” he said.
A survey by Nissan suggests that a third of motorists in the UK would be more likely to buy an EV, because of the new green number plates.
Andrew Humberstone, managing director of Nissan Motor GB, said: “The age of the electric vehicle is now approaching rapidly and these new green registration plates will soon be a common sight on our roads.”
The Nissan survey, carried out by respected pollsters YouGov, found that with the introduction of green number plates, and the prospect of further incentives linked to EV ownership, 32% of people would be more likely to buy an electric car.