Electric cars could get green number plates

Clean cars and vans could be fitted with new green number plates under Government plans to promote awareness of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

Green number plates could also help support local incentives for electric vehicles such as access to bus or low emission vehicle lanes, electric charging bays or ultra-low-emission-zones.

The special plates, which are already used by countries like Norway, Canada, and China, are the subject of a consultation launched by the Department for Transport (DfT).

It could pave the way for their use on UK vehicles in the next few years.

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.

“This new cleaner, greener transport has the potential to bring with it cleaner air, a better environment and stronger economies for countries around the world.

“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.”

It comes ahead of the UK hosting the world’s first Zero Emission Vehicle Summit, where nations from around the world will come together to agree to support the development of and acceleration in uptake of green vehicles

Elisabeth Costa, director at The Behavioural Insights Team, backs the green number plat plan. She said: “We support efforts to increase awareness of the numbers of clean vehicles on our roads. Simple changes based on behavioural science can have a big impact.

“Green plates would be more noticeable to road users, and this increased attraction can help normalise the idea of clean vehicles, highlighting the changing social norms around vehicle ownership.”

The consultation will consider potential designs for the plates, which could include entirely green on the front, back or both sides of the vehicle, or a green symbol.

The Prime Minister originally announced that the UK would host the Zero Emission Vehicle Summit earlier this year and Theresa May will deliver an address at the event

The summit will be taking place in Birmingham and Buckinghamshire this week, bringing together nations from across the globe to pledge collective action towards zero emission journeys and showcase how the UK is one of the best places in the world for zero-emission innovation.

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