Green licence plates make their debut in the UK

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Green number plates are now available for zero-emission vehicles and could influence almost one in five to switch to an EV, according to research from the AA.

The plates, which have a green flash on the left-hand side, will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero emission vehicles, and help local authorities to design and put in place new policies to incentivise carbon-zero vehicle ownership. 

EV drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ).

In an AA poll, almost half of respondents (49%) are considering buying an EV when they next switch cars. One in five drivers (18%) say that green plates may influence them to switch to an EV. 

Edmund King OBE, AA president welcomed the rollout: “I first drove an EV in 2001 and they have come on in leaps and bounds since then. I’m pleased to be one of the first to get a green plate on my EV.”

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “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.”

Eligibility

Only vehicles with zero tailpipe emissions (for example fully battery electric, or hydrogen fuel cell) will have the option of displaying the plates. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids (including range extenders) are not eligible. Green plates are available to all vehicle types – cars, vans, taxis, motorbikes, buses, coaches and HGVs.

Drivers with an existing eligible vehicle, can purchase a new set of plates through a Registered Number Plate Supplier.

Green number plates are being supplied with new eligible vehicles but aren’t mandatory. New car owners can tell their dealer if they don’t wish to have a green plate.

The new plates can be combined with the Union flag and national identifiers already permitted by the regulations.