Following a consultation started last year, the government has given the go-ahead for number plates to adopt a green flash to denote the environmental impact of an electric vehicle.
The original consultation set out to provide a UK-wide mechanism enabling people to spot and differentiate vehicles based on their environmental impact, as well as help inform road-users and normalise the idea of clean vehicles on our roads. The intention was to encouraging a shift to cleaner vehicles and help local authorities identify ULEVs and bring in local incentives for electric vehicles.
The consultation has concluded that the scheme will not be mandatory with vehicle owners able to opt out. The scheme will be available to qualifying new and existing cars, vans, taxis, motorbikes, buses, coaches and HGVs.
The number plates will feature a green flash on the left hand side of the number plate, rather than a full green background or green symbol, and only be available to zero emission vehicles (e.g. full battery or hydrogen fuel cell electric), not hybrids or low 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.”
Drivers could also benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones where those with a green number plate will be recognised as eligible.