Britain plans to issue green license plates to clean vehicles

Xinhua
The British government plans to issue green number plates to clean vehicles in a bid to promote awareness and sales of ultra-low emission cars.
Xinhua

The British government plans to issue green number plates to clean vehicles in a bid to promote awareness and sales of ultra-low emission cars.

The plan is part of a forthcoming government consultation announced Sunday which will seek views on whether green plates could work in Britain and, if so, what they should look like, the government said in a statement.

The consultation could pave the way for the addition of green license plates to the country's electric and hydrogen cars in the next few years.

"This new cleaner, greener transport has the potential to bring with it cleaner air, a better environment and stronger economies for countries around the world," Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said in the statement.

"Adding a green badge of honor to these new clean vehicles is a brilliant way of helping increase awareness of their growing popularity in the UK, and might just encourage people to think about how one could fit into their own travel routine," Grayling said.

Clean cars are also expected to enjoy access to low emission vehicle lanes, electric charging bays or ultra-low-emission-zones in a way to support local incentives for green vehicles, the statement said.

"Simple changes based on behavioural science can have a big impact," said Elisabeth Costa, director at the Behavioural Insights Team.

"Green plates would be more noticeable to road users, and this increased attraction can help normalize the idea of clean vehicles, highlighting the changing social norms around vehicle ownership," she added.

The consultation comes as Prime Minister Theresa May prepares to address the first ever Zero-Emission Vehicle Summit on Tuesday.

The summit will be taking place in Birmingham and Buckinghamshire on Sept. 11-12, bringing together nations from across the globe to pledge collective action towards zero emission journeys and the showcase Britain's zero-emission innovation.

Hybrids and electric vehicles made up 5.5 percent of the Britain's new car market in the first six months of this year, compared with 4.2 percent during the same period in 2017, the Guardian reported.

In Europe, the total number of electric cars has surpassed a million, as sales increased by more than 40 percent in the first half of the year, according to a recent report published by industry analyst EV-Volumes.

Special number plates for clean vehicles are already used by countries like Norway, Canada and China.

China introduced green license plates for new energy vehicles in 12 major cities in November 2017. The special plates have since expanded across the country.

China has remained the world's largest new energy vehicle market for three consecutive years, with some 777,000 cars sold in 2017.  

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