Last December, the UK introduced “green plates” for EVs in an effort to raise awareness of zero-emission cars. Exciting, I know.
Bearing a green strip down the left side, they’re easily distinguishable from the regular number plates. This means the public can identify these people as the saints of sustainable transport they are.
At least, that’s what the government thought.
From today, green number plates may be legally fitted on Zero Emission Vehicles throughout UK 🔌
Green number plates will help increase awareness of cleaner vehicles on our roads, demonstrating that a more environmentally friendly transport future is within our grasp. #ZEVs pic.twitter.com/tZ0OrxI8b3
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) December 8, 2020
But… it turns out that the message wasn’t so well received by the drivers. A survey by the AA, that included 14,719 respondents, found that almost a third of UK motorists don’t know what the green plates mean.
Among those who gave incorrect answers, there are some hilarious misconceptions.
Some 274 people thought a green plate offers greater parking flexibility — reasonable, and we’ll come back to that. While 53 reckoned it signalled an Irish driver. Which is… just… I can’t.
Thirty-six believed it signifies a driver who’s a member of the Green Party. And here’s my personal favorite: there were 35 people who thought the green plate meant the driver had voted for Brexit. Yes, Brexit.
The survey also revealed that regional disparity and age play a significant part in understanding the role of the plates.
While Londoners were the most likely to identify what the green plates stood for (66%), more than half of those residing in Northern Ireland (54%) or Wales (59%) gave a wrong answer. Similarly, the majority of younger drivers (74%) knew what the plates are, which lowered by 16% for motorists aged above 65.
Survey aside, here’s another important factor that creates more confusion. The Department for Transport launched these plates with the aim to offer more incentives to current and prospect EV drivers. These would include access to bus lanes, free entry into zero-emissions zones, and cheaper parking.
Guess how many of these proposed benefits currently exist? Yep, none
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the UK needs to put some more effort into enabling the EV transition. After all, it shouldn’t be so hard a job to inform drivers on some new plates, should it?
HT – This is Money
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