Green number plates introduced for low emissions vehicles

The government has rolled out a plan to introduce green number plates for low emissions motorcycles and cars

THE UK government is to introduce green number plates on all ultra-low emission vehicles from autumn 2020.

The move has been agreed to bring in a ‘UK-wide mechanism which will enable people to spot and differentiate vehicles based on their environmental impact’. The new plates will also make it easier for authorities to identify an electric car or bike for the purposes of ULEZ tracking for instance – although standard ANPR cameras would need altering to recognise the green colour of the plate!

Oddly, the new plate isn’t a mandatory change, with users having the option to opt-out from wearing the new design should they wish. Although, the fact that road-users are able to opt-out from using the new plates makes you wonder why the government are introducing the new design at all…

While the plates are being called green, they are not totally green, instead featuring a green flash running down the left-hand side of the plate. Other designs were considered though, including a full green version and one with a small green dot located on the left-hand side instead.

The consultation ran from 22nd October 2019 to 14th January 2020, with 1200 responses being submitted. The responses comprised of 1134 individuals and 66 organisations. The organisations were made up of vehicle manufacturers and interest groups; various motoring and consumer groups; local authorities and public bodies; and number plate industry groups.

Below is an example of how the new plates will look in standard car format, there isn’t currently an example for a bike number plate. It is though fairly easy to imagine a fully square plate with the green stripe running the entire left side of the design.

The government also confirms that the green portion can be used to display a national flag and also lettering.


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