Drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles may very soon be issued with a green number plate as recognition of their ‘environment friendly’ status. Plans are in their infancy but ministers are considering awarding the special plates to cars, vans and taxis that comply with the stringent low emission standards. If the idea comes to fruition it will echo the schemes already in place in other countries, such as Norway, Canada and China.

What are the Advantages?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are already making a huge impact when it comes to reducing emissions, and the installation of customised plates on these cars and vans is set to prove a real incentive for drivers who are still not complying with the emissions policy. The transport secretary, Chris Grayling believes that the UK is leading the world in technological advances when it comes to ultra-low emission vehicles and that adding a badge of honour to ‘clean’ cars and vans will have a huge effect on raising awareness of the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road. Hopefully this in turn will lead to more companies in our industry starting to think about how they can incorporate EVs into their fleet.

The introduction of plates is looking very probable with potential designs being considered. It is still undecided whether the plate will be entirely green on the front, back or both sides of the vehicle or whether there will just be a simple green symbol to denote the ‘green’ status.

What Does This Mean for the Courier Company?

The plates will not only be a ‘badge of honour’, but they will also entitle the driver to special privileges. Drivers boasting a green number plate will be entitled to use special bus lanes or lanes designated for low emission vehicles. They may also have access to ultra-low emission zones and charging bays, which would be a real plus for your courier workers who rely on easy access and clear routes to get their work done efficiently.

More importantly, by having vehicles in your fleet that display that they reach the low-emission standards, your reputation as a modern, up to date and conscious company will be boosted. This will also encourage other fleet owners and even independent courier workers to think about changing their thinking towards the greener alternative and consider joining the ‘EV club’ that is ever growing.

Today, the number of cleaner cars and vans on the road is steadily rising and the green plates that make the vehicles stand out to other road users will serve to normalise the concept of clean vehicles. Having your whole fleet boasting a green plate is bound to be quite an accolade and something that your company should be very proud of. In every section of the supply chain, more and more people will choose a delivery company that ticks the boxes in the low-emission stakes over one that does not.

The way our industry is going, we are all going to have to go green sooner rather than later, so get your contracted courier workers thinking about changing their vehicles and getting their green plates awarded. Meanwhile you can update your fleet so that you are all flying the flag for a greener future in the industry.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day jobs for courier workers in the express freight industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.

This article is copyright free.