‘Clean’ cars, vans and taxis could be equipped with green number plates under new Government plans to promote awareness of ultra-low emission vehicles.
The special plates, which are already used in Norway, Canada and China, would be available to owners of electric and hydrogen vehicles – and are designed to encourage take-up among drivers.
As well as promoting zero emission vehicles, the DfT says green number plates could 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 plans will soon be the subject of a public consultation – seeking views on whether green plates could work in the UK, and what they should look like. The DfT says the consultation could ‘pave the way for the addition of the eye-catching plates to UK vehicles in the next few years’.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, 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.”
Elisabeth Costa, director at the Behavioural Insights Team, 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 announcement comes as the UK prepares to host the world’s first Zero Emission Vehicle Summit this week, through which nations from around the world will come together in a bid to accelerate the uptake of green vehicles.