Following last month’s government announcement to end the sale of purely petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, all new electric vehicles (EVs) will now have a green number plate to match their green credentials.
The flash of green down the left hand side of the number plate was given the green light by the Department of Transport in June as part of the Government's plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. It’s hoped that the green plates may hold the key to a range of new incentives and initiatives to lure motorists into swapping over to electric vehicles.
Transport Minister Rachel Maclean says “Not only will green number plates raise awareness of the increasing number of cleaner vehicles on our roads, they could also unlock a number of incentives for drivers.”
She believes that EV drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and cost-free entry into zero-emission zones made easier by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
It seems many drivers have already started to make the switch given last week's report from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). They found that registrations of electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids (pHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) in November were up collectively by 74.1% year on year with petrol having declined by 41.9% and diesel by 56.2%.
Given the increase in electric car sales and the added benefits potentially on the horizon for drivers, attention undoubtedly will go to concerns around access to charging points. So the announcement this week by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regarding their intention to conduct their own study into the electric vehicle charging sector, was much welcomed.
Steve Fowler, the editor in chief of Auto Express believes that competition is key to providing a better car charging experience.
In his view, “allowing competition for charging points on our motorways (and elsewhere) is an essential step. But so are standards that need to be met for price, reliability and technology. Nobody wants regulation, yet there isn’t even an industry body among charging companies that exists to share best practice. Let’s hope the CMA comes up with robust suggestions that the Government will act upon to improve the EV charging experience for us all.”
Increased incentives and the commitment to improve the network point to the balance certainly starting to swing in favour of switching to a zero-emission vehicle on your next purchase.