Green license plates could soon become a reality in the UK.

With countries such as Norway and Canada already utilising the green plate initiative, the idea is a tried and tested one and is likely to come into effect soon here, in the UK. It hasn’t been announced how exactly it would work, which cars would be included and what kind of design the plates would have, but the idea alone hasn’t got everyone jumping for joy.

A quote from Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary

“Adding a green badge of honour to these new clean vehicles is a brilliant way of helping increase awareness of their growing popularity in the UK”

BMW i3 Electric Car EV charging side

The problem with this is that not everyone will want a green license plate that stands out a mile. Some people just want their EVs to look like normal cars which is why they’ve bought a Tesla Model S rather than the debatably ugly BMW i3. If the government slapped a bumper sticker on your car that says “I’M SAVING THE PLANET” and told you that it wasn’t allowed to be removed, how exactly would you feel?

The design is undecided

Will both the front and rear plates have to be green? Will the whole plate be coloured in, just the border, a green tab on the side or the lettering be green? Nothing’s set in stone so who knows how good or bad the design will look if it is implemented in the future.

Should EVs Have Green Number Plates 2

A more subtle design such as one of these would be great! What do you think?

Not just electric vehicles

Should EVs Have Green Number Plates 3

These green plates will likely not be limited to pure electric vehicles, but many types of ultra-low emission vehicles or “ULEVs” according to If your car emits 75g of CO2 per kilometre or less than you could be entitled to one of these fancy new green plates!

The BMW i3 range extender and Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid both consume either petrol or diesel and still manage to fit into the ultra-low emission category, so if you own a super eco-friendly hybrid it may be worth checking if your car emits less than 75g CO2/km.

Other incentives may come as well

Should EVs Have Green Number Plates 4

The green “badge of honour” may not just be a pointless vanity plate after all but could also allow the eligible vehicles to use bus lanes just as motorbikes do. Further down the line, only green plate holders could be allowed to enter ultra-low emission zones, park in charging bays and use special low emission dedicated lanes.

As said before, Canada, Norway, China, India and other countries have implemented or in the process of initiating similar schemes to promote the purchase and usage of more environmentally-friendly vehicles.

A great idea to help the environment, or just a form of shaming older car models?

Let us know your thoughts on the topic in the comments.

Like What You’ve Read?

For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.

Please note: You cannot subscribe to Motor-Vision unless you put a tick in the checkbox below to indicate have read and agreed to our privacy policy.

Leave a Reply