Green number plates planned for EVs

The government has announced a consultation on introducing green number plates for zero-emission cars which they believe could help encourage the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs).

The purpose of the initiative is to provide a UK-wide policy that will enable people to differentiate vehicles based on their environmental impact, the government also hopes that it will normalise the idea of clean vehicles on the roads.

The consultation will look at how the green number plates could benefit local authorities, as it could make it easier for them to allow EV drivers to use bus lanes.

A similar scheme was trialled in Ontario, Canada, with drivers of electric vehicles being given free access to toll lanes. According to the Canadian government, the scheme was successful and saw an increase in electric vehicle registrations.

The consultation will seek views from the industry and the public on a number of aspects such as vehicle eligibility, number plate design and the rollout of the plates.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘The UK is in the driving seat of global efforts to tackle vehicle emissions, climate change and improve air quality but we want to accelerate our progress.’

‘Green number plates are a really positive and exciting way to help everyone recognise the increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads.’

Go Ultra Low Ambassador Ben Fogle added: ‘As someone going through the process of getting an electric car at the moment, the potential to benefit from extra incentives only adds to the appeal.’

‘These come on top of the existing benefits such as helping to improve local air quality; running costs from as little as 2p per mile; reduced service maintenance and repair costs and exemptions from congestion and clean air zone charges.’

‘As the list of reasons to choose an EV becomes even longer, there really is no better time to consider making your next car electric.’

However, the scheme has been criticised as being unnecessary. Cathrine Rowett, Green Party MEP tweeted: ‘Providing green-tinted number plates for electric cars doesn’t solve air pollution…We need to ensure that electric cars are affordable and practical.’

In related news, SSE Energy Services has launched a new tariff for electric vehicle (EV) owners, giving them up to 2,000 kWh of free electricity a year when they charge their car overnight at home.

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