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Green-Colored Number Plate Scheme in the UK

2018-12-26 11:40 Wednesday

Two London councils have announced plans to ban all non-clean energy vehicles from some areas at peak times to help tackle the city's air-pollution crisis. In the UK's first scheme of its kind, only ultra-low emission vehicles such as electric cars, e-bikes, and the latest hybrids, will be allowed on nine streets in Hackney and Islington from 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm on weekdays. The measure is expected to boost demand for electric vehicles in the UK.

Green-Colored Number Plate Scheme in the UK

The UK government announced on September 9th that it is considering a green-coloured license plate scheme for low-emission vehicles. "Adding a green badge of honour to these new clean vehicles is a brilliant way of helping increase awareness of a growing air pollution in the UK," said Chris Graying, the UK Transport Secretary.

Green license plate schemes have already been implemented in China and Canada for low-emission vehicles, in order to distinguish them. The initiative in China has complemented specific local incentives for low-emissions vehicles by allowing access to dedicated lanes, charging bays, and subsidized parking facilities.

Norway has a similar plan in place, involving prefixed license plates including letters such as EK or EL to signify that they are electrically powered or that they run on alternative fuel. Sales of electric and hybrid cars in Norway surpassed fossil fuel-powered vehicles in 2017, cementing the country's position as a global leader in the push to reduce vehicle emissions.

One of the most significant challenges to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is the so-called "anxiety range", whereby motorists are afraid that they will not have enough charge to reach their destination. The challenge is especially pronounced in geographically large countries. That is why it is vital that countries develop a charging infrastructure to mitigate motorists' concerns.

"Air pollution is the biggest public health emergency of our time. Incentives such as green license plates for low-emission vehicles can go a long way in encouraging a transition to electric vehicles. And when we make this transition, we will all breathe much cleaner air," said Joyce Msuya, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme  (UNEP).

UNEP's Electric Mobility Programme works with individual countries, particularly emerging economies, to assist in the shift from fossil fuel to electric vehicles.

The current transportation landscape remains highly dependent on fossil fuels, but recent initiatives have demonstrated that this doesn't have to be the case. Leading by example, countries like Norway and China have put in place policies to support the use of electric vehicles, with measurable success. Such practices need to be scaled up and replicated around the world.

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