Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 13th December 2018

In an effort to boost the number of people driving electric cars in the UK, green number plates could be introduced. The government has sent out a consultation about getting different perspectives on the plates. The initiative comes with prime minister Theresa May preparing to address the inaugural zero-emission vehicle summit in Birmingham. The summit is based around the nations of the world working together to create an environmentally stable future.

Director of Behavioural Insights Team, Elisabeth Costa, said “simple changes based on behavioural science can have a big impact. Green plates would be more noticeable to road users, and this increased attraction can help normalise the idea of clean vehicles, highlighting the changing social norms around vehicle ownership.”

The UK government are looking to increase the use of low-emission cars and develop the country as a place of electric innovation. Recently, transport secretary Chris Grayling announced the introduction of more electric vehicle charging points. An RAC Foundation study found the mass appeal of low emission vehicles would be restricted without widespread charging points.

Grayling is confident about the UK being at the forefront of clean technology. “This new cleaner, green transport has the potential to bring with it cleaner air, a better environment and stronger economies for countries around the world. Adding a green badge of honour to these new clean vehicles is a brilliant way of helping increase awareness of their growing popularity in the UK, and might just encourage people to think about how one could fit into their own travel routine.”

Green plates are already being utilised in Canada, China and Norway. A spokesperson from the Environmental Transport Association believed there needed to be greater separation between electric and diesel cars. “While green number plates will be positive PR for low-emission car makers and early adopters of the technology alike, to be truly effective any such initiative will need to at the same time shame the drivers of the most polluting vehicles; an electric or hydrogen-powered vehicle might sport a green plate, but the biggest gas guzzlers should have theirs branded red.”

“Some French cities have already adopted an emissions-based vignette window sticker scheme using a range of six colours that recognise the fact that it is clumsy to simply brand one classic of vehicle as being clean.”

What’s your opinion on green plates being introduced?