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Why Do Electric Cars Have Green Number Plates?

A common theme road users and pedestrians begin to notice with the influx of electric vehicles, is not only their silent nature, or the new charging stations you can find for them, but also the fact that all of their number plates have a green colouring on their side.

This blog will answer the question ‘Why do electric cars have green number plates?’

As an established registration plate maker, we at Bespoke Plates know how to add a unique and distinctive finish to your vehicle registration plate, further stating a level of individuality that can be the finishing touch to a vehicle you have already customised.

Bespoke Plates is a renowned and legally certified registration plate maker and installer, with options of 3D Plates, 4D plates, Show plates, and regular / electric vehicle plates and more. We are the one-stop shop for all things registration plates!

Whether it’s a private plate, gel plate, standard registration plate or plating accessories, we have you covered.

As a certified and experienced team of plate fitters and makers, our plates are installed to the specification of UK law, provided alongside the appropriate paperwork you need. (The only exception to this is show plates.)

What are number plates used for?

A number plate has a simple function, it is to identify the vehicle it is attached to. Put simply, vehicle registration is like our fingerprint, completely unique. Number plates are unique from country to country.

It isn’t just the characters on the plate that make it unique, there is also signage that indicates the country of origin of the plate. This makes it easier to identify vehicles that are not in their country of origin.

A number plate is registered to a vehicle, which in turn is registered to its driver or drivers, this ensures (for the most part) that any situation in which the vehicle’s registered driver needs to be contacted, it can be easily done.

Why is the colour green used for electric plates?

Why is the colour green used for electric plates?

Electric number plates, or ‘green plates’ are given to vehicles for their environmentally friendly nature, specifically vehicles that operate using electricity exclusively.

Green connotes nature, the earth, trees, health, and much more. The terminology generally used for environmentally friendly processes or machinery is often ‘green’. This terminology also followed suit in electric vehicles and their plates.

Why do electric cars have green number plates?

How to order a personalised plate

Electric cars have green number plates to signify that the vehicle the plate is attached to is fully electric, but why is this important?

The UK is adapting to environmentally friendly solutions, like ULEZ zones. Within these zones, such as Central London, plates are marked upon entry, if your vehicle is not in the ultra-low emission threshold, you may be charged to drive your vehicle through this zone. (This is separate from the congestion charge.)

This is where the plating of electric vehicles become important, it instantly lets the plate recognition systems know that the vehicle is electric and therefore not applicable to a ULEZ charge.

When it comes to other road users, knowing a vehicle is electric could be helpful, in case you’re blocking access to a charging point. Generally, it’s also helpful for somebody who needs a taxi but is still trying to be environmentally conscious.

Can you forge a green number plate?

It is illegal to forge a green number plate, like with a regular plate, forgery is punishable by law and can result in a variety of consequences. If the intention is to make a regular vehicle appear like an electric vehicle by having a false green plate, it is a fruitless endeavour, as all regular vehicles require a functional exhaust, whereas electric vehicles don’t.

How to order a green number plate

Where to get a 4D number plate plus installation

Whether you want to replace your registration plate because of physical damage, or you just want a different style of plate, we at Bespoke Plates make the process easy and efficient. Here is the process.

By following these steps you will also have the option to see the plate before making a decision.

Visualising how your plate can look in real-time, with the characters from your actual registration plate, saves time and makes it easy for you to know what you want before you get it. Let us walk you through the process of choosing your plate through us.

  1. Head to the Bespoke Plates website
  2. Select the plate style you want under the “Build Your Plate” tab. Alternatively, you can follow this link.
  3. Enter your registration (You can press ‘preview’ to see your registration with all of the modification options you have selected.)
  4. When selecting an electric plate you can opt for 3D/4D options, a Hex plate, and whether or not you want a legal plate or a show plate.
  5. Select preferred optional accessories.
  6. Choose if you are collecting with installation, or if you want it to be delivered.

If you choose to install through us, we can remove and replace your old registration plate, taking the hassle and hard work out of your hands. Of course, you can opt to remove your plate yourself.

Please note, if you are purchasing an electric vehicle number plate, it must not be for a vehicle that is not electric.

Do electric plates have their own legalities?

When it comes to electric plates, they must follow the already established legalities of number plates in the UK, in addition to displaying the green band on the side of the plate. Below are the rulings of UK number plates.

To clear up any confusion, plate modification, whether that be Hex plates, or gel plates (3D & 4D) are 100% LEGAL if you stick to the outlined rules from the DVLA.*

*Please do your due diligence and research, some unverified registration plate providers may not be making their plates to the legal specification, which could become an inconvenience for you. Visiting Bespoke Plates is the best way to avoid this trouble.

Alternatively, using the government gateway to find licenced and approved plate makers is the best option for peace of mind and finding plate makers close to you. Enter your postcode on the government gateway website.

What are the legal requirements for a registration plate?

The legal terms that a registration plate must adhere to are:

  • be made from a reflective material – for road safety
  • black display characters on a white background (front plate)
  • black display characters on a yellow background (rear plate)
  • not have a background pattern – so as not to distort the readability of your plate
  • be marked to show who supplied the registration plate – to assist with thefts and sourcing queries
  • be marked with a British Standard number – this is ‘BS AU 145e’ for plates fitted after 1 September 2021
  • Characters must not be removable or reflective. If your registration plates were fitted after 1 September 2021, they must also be a single shade of black.

You can find the full list of legal requirements here.

Electric number plate makers

Electric number plate makers

In this blog, we have highlighted our plate options, and the information you need in order to our stylish customisation option to your vehicle. We aim to have answered the question ‘Why do electric cars have green number plates?’

We hope that we provided all the right answers and options for all of your plate modification needs.

Bespoke Plates have all the options you can ask for, as an approved registration vendor we can guarantee your modification abides by the DVLA rules whilst offering same-day collections and full fitting service.

To get in touch and discuss the full fitting service we offer with our plates you can talk to one of the members of our team by:

Email info@bespoke-plates.co.uk

Phone 0333 006 7878

Visit in-store

36A Broughton Street,



M8 8NN

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