Nissan dealers are preparing for the arrival of a new kind of number plate this autumn.
The plates are being brought in especially for electric vehicles and have an eye-catching green flash on the left-hand side to highlight the fact that EVs are emission-free.
As 70-plate models are introduced at Nissan dealers, trial green number plates have been fitted to show electric vehicle customers how they could look when they hit the road later this year. For those unfamiliar with the UK plate system, it’s complex: British number plates are arranged in the format of two letters, followed by two numbers, followed by a space and then three letters: For example: EF19 ABC. The numbers indicate when the car was first registered and use a cunning code:
The two numbers are called the ‘age identifier’, which tells you in which six-month period the car was first registered.
The numbers change every six months, in March and September. The March codes are easy to remember as they follow the year of registration (so a car registered between March and August in 2020 will have the number 20, a car that was registered between March and August 2005 has the number 05, and so on.).
For cars registered between September and February, it’s slightly more complicated. The numeric code equals the year (as of September) plus 50. So a car registered from September 2020 until February 2021 will have the number 70 (= 20 + 50). A car registered in September 2020 – February 2021 has the number 70 (=20 + 50), and so on.
The initiative was announced by UK Transport Secretary and Tesla driving Grant Shapps as part of a wider plan to drive a “green economic recovery” after the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The green number plates will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero-emission vehicles, helping local authorities design and implement new policies to encourage people to own and drive them.
For example, drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and free entry into zero-emission zones.
Shapps had said the plates could also “increase awareness of cleaner vehicles on our roads and show people that a greener transport future is within our grasp”.
Nissan has been involve with EV research and development for many years now – the emission-free LEAF hatchback was launched a decade ago and the new Ariya is just around the corner.
“Anything that encourages electric vehicle use is to be encouraged and we think the green plates will prove incredibly useful in terms of raising awareness of the benefits of emission-free motoring,” said a Nissan spokesman.
An exact date for the introduction of the green number plates has yet to be announced.