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Car dealers are preparing for the arrival of a new kind of numberplate this autumn.

The plates are being brought in especially for electric vehicles and have an eye-catching green flash on the left-hand side to highlight the fact that EVs are emission-free.

As 70-plate models are introduced at Nissan dealers, trial green numberplates have been fitted to show electric vehicle customers how they could look when they hit the road later this year.

The initiative was announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps in June as part of a wider plan to drive a ‘green economic recovery’ after the turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The green numberplates will make it easier for cars to be identified as zero-emission vehicles, helping local authorities design and implement new policies to encourage people to own and drive them.

For example, drivers could benefit from local initiatives such as cheaper parking and free entry into zero-emission zones.

Mr Shapps said the plates could also ‘increase awareness of cleaner vehicles on our roads and show people that a greener transport future is within our grasp’.

Nissan has been in the forefront of EV research and development for many years now – the emission-free LEAF hatchback was launched a decade ago and the new Ariya is just around the corner. LEAF is capable of travelling up to 239 miles on a single charge.

A Nissan spokesman said: ‘Anything that encourages electric vehicle use is to be encouraged and we think the green plates will prove incredibly useful in terms of raising awareness of the benefits of emission-free motoring.’

An exact date for the introduction of the green numberplates has yet to be announced but the Department of Transport confirmed today they will be arriving this autumn.