Britain plans to introduce a unique number plate for electric cars to promote cleaner vehicles, according to the Transport Secretary.
This is as the country targets net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The new plates, which will carry a bright green stripe down one side, will help authorities identify electric vehicles, making it easier for their drivers to obtain incentives such as cheaper parking and exemptions from emissions charges.
The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, stated that the initiative would raise awareness of cleaner vehicles and show Britons “a greener transport future is within our grasp.”
“A green recovery is key to helping us achieve our net-zero carbon commitments while also promoting economic growth,” he said in a statement.
Additionally, the government has allocated 12 million pounds ($15.2 million) to fund research into zero-emissions technology, including developing greener vehicles and improving existing car battery-charging technology.
Tuesday’s announcement follows a public consultation in October as part of the government’s 1.5 billion pound Road to Zero strategy to slash emissions from road transport.
Only zero-emissions vehicles will be eligible to receive the new registration plates.
Leading automotive services company RAC stated that the move alone was unlikely to encourage real change in consumer behaviour and urged further financial incentives to encourage drivers to make the switch.
“We would like to see more direct financial incentives to bring the cost of EVs down, as drivers tell us it’s the cost that is one of the biggest barriers to them opting for an EV,” RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said.
The Telegraph newspaper reported last week that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was considering giving drivers up to 6,000 pounds to swap their diesel and gasoline cars for EVs.
Edmund King, president of British motoring association AA, said the distinctive license plates could instil a sense of pride among drivers, adding that more than a third of AA members backed the initiative.
“Having a green flash on the number plate may become a badge of honour for some drivers,” he said.