Right at the tail end of 2020, the UK Government launched its green number plate initiative. The new plates (which quite literally have a flash of green on one side) will be fitted to all new zero-emission cars, vans, buses, HGVs, taxis and motorcycles. Meanwhile, if you already own a vehicle that meets the criteria, you can order a set of new green plates simply and cheaply from one of a number of retailers.

What’s the significance? Well, for vehicle owners, having a green plate is intended to act as a ‘VIP pass’. Green plate owners will have access to cheaper parking and free entry into zero-emission zones, such as TFL’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone – which came into effect on Boxing Day last year.

For the government, the initiative is driven by its commitment to reach net-zero by 2050 and a desire to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, hopes that the green plate initiative will raise awareness of the growing number of zero-emission vehicles out there and assist the UK in becoming market leaders in decarbonising transport. 

Of course, the initiative alone is unlikely to be a big enough pull as public perception toward EVs still remains on the sceptical side. However, it does add to the increasing weight of incentives for motorists to make the switch. For now, if nothing else, at least it beats eye-spy on a long car journey. How many can you spot on your next drive out (Covid permitting)?