The introduction of green number plates might be coming sooner than we think. They’re already in use in countries like Norway, Canada and China but they could be available for electric cars in the UK.
What Are They For?
According to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles the purpose of introducing green number plate is to:
(a) Provide a UK-wide mechanism enabling people to spot and differentiate vehicles based on their environmental impact
(b) Help inform road-users and normalise the idea of clean vehicles on our roads, encouraging a shift to cleaner vehicles.
(c) Help local authorities to identify ULEVs and bring in local incentives for electric vehicles.
This is at the consultation stage and that means you can have your say right until 14th January 2020. If you have an opinion, you can fill out an online form, write to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles or send an email to GreenNumberPlates@dft.gov.uk.
Quite what real difference this is going to make is quite unclear. It’s a very obvious signal that the driver is saving the planet. Except that every kind of vehicle will produce emissions at some stage of its life and Zero Emissions remains a myth, until you know where the electricity for the vehicle comes from.
What we have here is the creation of a two-tier car ownership system. Those who can afford an electric car and those that can’t.
Electric Vehicle owners may get reduced parking fees, have designated road space or be allowed into bus lanes, but how long will it be before those get clogged up?
The cost of an Electric Vauxhall Corsa E is £26,000. Compare that with the £11,735 charged for the cheapest petrol one. There are finance deals of course, but relatively buyers pay more for the battery version. Also the battery range is not appropriate for every road user when it comes to charging, range or overall use.
Our resident journalist James has lots of questions: What about Hybrid vehicles which may be able to run as a full EV around town, do they get a half green plate? Or does it turn green when electricity is used? As usual with these type of daft show off proposals, there are more questions than answers.
Those green plates, may be green in colour only. Let the government know what you think.