The Department for Transport and Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) have given the go-ahead for pure electric vehicles to be identified by a green number plate.
As part of the government’s plans to drive a green economic recovery and achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the introduction of green number plates aims to encourage drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles. The plates will be designed to feature a green flash on the left hand side of the number plate, and will be non-mandatory but opt-out for new and existing qualifying vehicles. The plates will make it easier for cars to be visually identified as zero emission vehicles, helping local authorities design and put in place new policies such as cheaper parking and zero-emission zones, to incentivise people to switch to cleaner vehicles.
In addition, a £12m funding pot has been announced for research into the zero-emission market for the delivery of green vehicles and charging technology. £10m of the funding, made available through OLEV and delivered through Innovate UK, will go into a new Zero Emission Vehicle Innovation Competition, where applicants can bid for funding to support battery electric and hydrogen vehicle advances. The remaining £2m will be for small and medium sized businesses to underpin research into zero-emission vehicles.
Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “As we prepare for the mass take up of electric vehicles, green number plates provide an effective way to raise awareness. We will introduce them as early as this autumn, demonstrating that a green revolution is taking place across the country.
“From individual drivers, to business fleets, to cities and local authorities, green number plates are an exciting opportunity for drivers to show leadership and visible commitment to the future of the planet. They will provide powerful motivation to encourage drivers to shift to cleaner vehicles.”
The green number plates will be open to qualifying cars, vans taxis and motorcycles; and buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).