Spotted: Green number plates and what do they mean?
Under new government plans, electric vehicles (EVs) that are sold across the UK may be given green number plates, a stark contrast to the conventional white/yellow ones that we’re used to.
The Government have begun talks on the proposal, which they believe could help to “encourage the uptake of electric vehicles” by making it easier for local councils to launch incentive schemes across the UK (these could include allowing EV owners to use bus lanes or offer ‘green parking’ benefits to lower the cost for owners.)
According to The Department for Transport, a similar scheme was launched in Ontario, Canada, where EVs were given green number plates and their owners granted access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes, usually reserved for the exclusive use of vehicles with a driver and one or more passengers.
Studies have shown that these benefits have led to an increase in sales of electric cars within the Ontario area, which can also be seen in other countries, such as China and Norway, who also differentiate between electric and internal-combustion-engine cars with different types of number plate, as well as offering various incentives for buyers.
Currently, EVs that cost under £40,000 are exempt from road tax within the UK, and buyers can request a £3,500 grant towards the cost of their electric car – and with EV sales increasing to over 30,000 across the UK in 2019, (doubling the previous year’s total) these incentives seem to be working.
Because of this, the government are taking inspiration from countries such as Norway, where EV buyers don’t have to pay any purchase/import taxes including VAT at 25 per cent, as well as being able to drive in bus lanes and park for free in select car parks, to see how the UK can increase their number of EV owners even further.
The ‘Green Number Plates’ proposal is part of a £1.5bn strategy introduced by the government to help to lower road pollution, in an attempt to help the UK become effectively carbon neutral by 2050.