U.K. lawmakers want to issue green license plates for electric cars to unlock free or cheap parking, priority highway lanes, other perks. Could this work in the U.S.?

CarAndDriver, By Connor Hoffman

© CarAndDriver | Green Plates Grant Privileged Status to Electric Cars in Canada, Maybe the U.K..

EV drivers in Ontario and Quebec, Canada, use 
green license plates, and Norwegiansget plates with an E, which gives them special access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes and reduced parking and toll fees.

The U.K. wants to use green plates to increase awareness and encourage more people to start driving electric vehicles.

A $4500 subsidy for all-electric vehicles already exists in the U.K., and the country is spending $90 million to double the number of charge points.

How to get to zero emissions by 2040? That's the goal in the United Kingdom, and the country is looking to get there through measures large and small. The latest is a plan to adopt green license plates for electric cars, which would come with perks, to help encourage EV adoption.

The specialized EV license plate is not a new idea; it's already in place in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec and also in EV-loving Norway. In Canada, EVs bearing the green plates get special access to high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lanes and free access to high-occupancy toll lanes even if there is only one person in the car.

Norway, a leader in electric-vehicle use, distinguishes EVs with an "E" at the start of the license plate number, which grants access to EV-only spaces and parking lots equipped with charging stations.

The U.K. intends to combine these two initiatives by giving EV drivers cheaper city parking. A $4500 subsidy for all-electric vehicles already exists, and the U.K. is going to spend $90 million to double the number of charging stations. The Ministry of Transport is currently taking public comments, with a final decision to be made in January.

Europe isn't the only place trying to incentivize people to go green. In the U.S., Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, recently said that he wants the U.S. to have "clean" roads by 2040. His plan would spend $454 billion to incentivize Americans to trade out of internal-combustion-engined cars and into EVs and hybrids. It's not much of a stretch to imagine the government making a smaller-scale move like a special license plate neatly combining virtue-signaling status and real perks to help make electric-vehicle ownership more palatable.

This article was originally published by CarAndDriver.
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