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Green number plates make new EVs debut on UK roads

Nissan GB green number plate

Green number plates will be applied to new electric vehicles (EV) sold in the UK from today (December 8) in a bid to drive further uptake of zero emissions transport before 2030.

The Department for Transport (DfT) gave the green light for the flash of green down the left-side of UK number plates back in June, in-line with UK Government plans to ban on the sale of all new internal combustion engine (ICE) cars from 2035 and the UK’s aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Following last month’s announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the sale of all purely petrol and diesel powered new cars will be banned from 2030, with new hybrids also banned from 2035, the green plates may hold the key to a range of new incentives to lure motorists into EVs.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said that the green number plates build on last month’s announcement to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in the UK by 2030.

She also believes that EV operators could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones.

She 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.”

Last week the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that registrations of electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) had continued to grow significantly during November – up 122.4% and 76.9% respectively.

BEVs recorded their third-highest ever monthly share of registrations at 9.1% as petrol declined 41.9% and diesel 56.2%.

The green number plates were introduced by the DfT following consultation on the scheme last autumn, would allow local authorities to “design and put in place new policies to incentivise people to own and drive” EVs to further boost traction among buyers.

Reduced parking prices – or full exemptions – and congestion zone charging exemption likely to be made easier through the new green ‘plates detection by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

Commenting on their roll-out today, Centrica’s Sustainable Transport Editor, Amanda Stretton, said: “The latest industry figures show that sales of battery electric vehicles in November were up by 122.4% compared to the same time last year, so hopefully we’ll see even further uptake following the introduction of green plates.

“Cost benefits including reduced parking costs and free entry into low-emissions zones should act as real incentives to make the switch.”

She added: “Our research found that one in four (25%) drivers will consider an EV the next time they buy a car, but if this is the case, we need to address concerns around access to charging, well in advance of the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel models.

“Alongside additional public charging facilities across the UK, we need to see a continuation of grants for home charging – where the vast majority of charging will take place.”

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