Government Switch To Green Plated EVs Could Be Illegal

Tue 11th Feb 2020

It was heralded as a unique way for electric vehicles to gain use of free parking and bus lanes, but now the government’s plans for green number plates for EVs has hit a bump in the road.

The UK’s regulator for the use of CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras has warned that that any use of cameras to recognise the electric vehicles could be infringing on the rights of the motorist and may even be illegal.

The Department for Transport unveiled plans for th new-look plates in October 2019 suggesting that councils could incentivise drivers to go green by offering cheaper parking and access to restricted routes. But a report from the Surveillance Camera Commissioner has warned that the ANPR technology required has not been approved for use.

'The view of the ANPR IAG [independent advisory group] is that the green number plate is an unqualified extension to the role of ANPR,” said the regulator’s official response to the DfT’s number plate consultation.

“Where is the evidence to prove that the extension to the ANPR function is justified? 

“Limited evidence was presented that car drivers want green number plates or that it is for the benefit of society. Therefore, the legality was questioned.'

It added: “Clean air is fully recognised as being paramount. The group felt there was limited evidence that this scheme would significantly contribute towards that.”

The proposed colour changes would be the first significant change to plate design since we moved to a white background from silver on black in 1969.