The introduction of green number plates will help motorists benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones, the Government hopes.
The new number plates, which took to the road for the first time on 8 December, are also designed to raise awareness of the growing number of zero-emission vehicles on UK roads.
Statistics published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show 86,291 pure electric cars were registered between January and November – compared to just 37,850 during the entirety of 2019.
Transport minister Rachel Maclean says the move will help accelerate the transition towards electric vehicles – and builds on last month’s announcement to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK by 2030.
Rachel Maclean said: “We are going further and faster than any other major economy to decarbonise transport, improving air quality in our towns and cities in the process and harnessing the power of clean, green technology to end the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.
“Not only will green number plates raise awareness of the increasing number of cleaner vehicles on our roads, they could also unlock a number of incentives for drivers. It’s clear there has never been a better time to make the switch to a zero-emission vehicle.”
The new number plates can be retro-fitted to any existing vehicles, including cars, vans, buses, HGVs, taxis and motorcycles – as long as they emit no CO2 emissions at the tailpipe.
They will consist of a green flash on the left-hand side of the plate and can be combined with the Union flag and national identifiers already permitted by the regulations.
The move follows the conclusion of a consultation, inviting comments from the public, local authorities and industry stakeholders from a range of sectors including motoring and consumer groups and vehicle manufacturers, on how best to introduce green number plates.