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New Green Number Plates for Zero Emission Cars – and Free Parking

By Stephen Turvil | November 5, 2019


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Green, eco-friendly number plates for zero emission cars to encourage drivers to swap – plus free parking

New Green Number Plates for Zero Emission Cars – and Free Parking

Benefits of green number plates

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Zero emission cars might soon have prominent, bright green registration plates which distinguish them from more polluting vehicles and allow motorists to park for free, the Government hinted. But why? The Government wants to encourage drivers to switch to zero emission vehicles to reduce the pollution that causes health problems. Green registration plates might facilitate.

For example, local councils could launch initiatives that specifically – and exclusively – benefit motorists with zero emission cars. Free parking, for instance. However, enforcement would be required to ensure that only the relevant motorists benefit. Green registration plates would help traffic wardens quickly, confidently, and easily recognise zero emission vehicles.

Furthermore, over time, motorists might see green registration plates in big numbers. This might emphasise that zero emission vehicles have become a mainstream choice and further encourage those in older, more polluting cars to swap. And finally, environmentalists might suggest such plates are ‘badges of honour’.

Government champions green number plates

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, emphasised the benefits of green plates. He said: ‘The United Kingdom is in the driving seat of global efforts to tackle vehicle emissions and climate change and improve air quality – but we want to accelerate progress. Green number plates are a positive and exciting way to help everyone recognise the increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads.’

‘By increasing awareness of these vehicles and the benefits they bring to their drivers and the environment, we will turbocharge the zero emission revolution’, the Transport Secretary further claimed.

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Green number plate format

The Government has not yet chosen a format for the green number plates. Such things are subject to public consultation until January 2020. Options include bight, completely green backgrounds but this might be problematic. Safety cameras might struggle to read such plates. On this basis, green plates are likely to more closely resemble their current counterparts. Likely extras include:

  • green, vertical stripe on the left (or)
  • green circle on the left

Further support

The Behavioural Insights Team is also in favour of green number plates. Its purpose is to help devise policies that ‘improve people’s lives’. Director, Elisabeth Costa, said: ‘The number of clean vehicles on our roads is increasing, but we do not notice as it is difficult to tell cleaner vehicles from more polluting ones.’

‘Green number plates make these vehicles – and our decision to drive in a more environmentally friendly way – more visible on roads. We think making the changing social norm noticeable will help encourage more of us to swap to cleaner vehicles’, she argued.

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