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New Green Number Plates For Zero Emission Electric Cars

By Stephen Turvil | December 8, 2020


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Eco-friendly electric cars can have green number plates to encourage drivers to abandon internal combustion

New Green Number Plates For Zero Emission Electric Cars

Green number plates can be fitted to clean, fully electric, zero emission cars to emphasise their eco-friendly nature and make them easier to recognise from December 8th 2020, the Department for Transport confirmed. Such a car can therefore have a prominent, vertical, green rectangle towards the left of both plates. But why?

The Government wants to encourage people to pick electric cars as they cannot pollute the planet (at the point of use). Neither can they emit substances that cause lung disease, asthma, and a wide range of other issues. As such, the green number plates – it is hoped – might help encourage people to go electric in several ways. 

If, for example, councils can quickly identify zero emission cars they might find it easier to incentive use. Drivers might get cheaper parking, for starters. They might have exclusive access to certain parts of certain cities. Such things might make motorists favour electric models over hybrid, petrol, and diesel equivalents. 

Green number plates might encourage motorists to go electric in other ways, too. As they make such vehicles more prominent they might increasingly be considered ‘the norm’. They might be considered a ‘default choice’ and something ‘everyone has’. And, of course, some people might want green plates as a ‘badge of honour’.

New Green Number Plates For Zero Emission Electric Cars Image

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, summarised the potential benefits of this environmental initiative. ‘Green number plates could unlock a number of incentives for drivers and increase awareness of cleaner vehicles on our roads’, he argued. They might also ‘show people that a greener transport future is in our grasp.’

Motoring organisation has its say

The AA is in favour of green number plates. President Edmund King said: ‘We support this concept which shows that the electric vehicle revolution is moving from amber to green.’ However, he suggested that such cars are still too expensive for many people. Government ‘financial incentives’ must play a part too, he claimed.

There are further points to note. Green number plates:

  • can be fitted to any new zero emission car
  • could be retrofitted to any existing zero emission car
  • cannot therefore be fitted to any hybrid, petrol, or diesel.

Number plate format

The British Number Plate Manufacturers Association revealed the  characteristics a green number plate must have. The ‘green flash’ must be between forty and fifty millimetres wide, for example. It must also be retroreflective for ‘twenty-four hour visibility’ and a precise shade of green. Specifically, it must be ‘Pantone 7481C’. 

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