Green number plate scheme for EVs to begin in December

Owners of electric cars will be able to fit green number plates to their vehicles from this month.

The Department for Transport has confirmed that from December 8, eligible vehicles, including EVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, will carry a specially designed number plate that identifies then as zero-emissions vehicles.

The scheme was announced earlier this year as part of a government effort to encourage the uptake of electric cars. Various designs for the plates were considered before a simple green flash down the left side of the plate was chosen.

The new plates are intended to make it easier to identify zero-emissions vehicles which, the DfT, says will raise awareness of the cars and make it easier for drivers to take advantage of local incentives aimed at EV drivers.

(Photo: Nissan)

These could include cheaper or free parking and free entry into low-emissions zones which are being planned for a growing number of UK cities. In Canada, which inspired the UK scheme, a similar programme gives EV and PHEV drivers free access to toll roads and priority traffic lanes.

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “A green recovery is key to helping us achieve our net zero carbon commitments while also promoting economic growth.

“Green number plates could unlock a number of incentives for drivers and increase awareness of cleaner vehicles on our roads, showing people that a greener transport future is within our grasp.’’

The new number plates are not compulsory but buyers of new EVs will have to opt out if they do not want the special plates. Owners of older zero-emissions vehicles can also choose to have the green plates fitted to their vehicle.

The announcement comes soon after the Government confirmed that it was accelerating the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

All new pure combustion-engined cars and vans will be banned from sale in 2030, with hybrids that offer “significant” EV modes allowed until 2035.