Innovation That Matters

Eco-iconic license plates for green vehicles


Electric and hybrid vehicles are typically eco-iconic in their own right, but a new program from Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation aims to give them additional recognition via special license plates as well. The Canadian province hopes to have one out of every 20 vehicles driven in Ontario electrically powered by 2020. As part of that effort, it is encouraging the purchase and use of electric cars via several incentives. First, vehicles purchased after July 1, 2010, can qualify for rebates of between CDN 4,000 and CDN 10,000. Even more eco-iconic, however, is that drivers of such vehicles will be given special, green license plates from the province starting next year. Said license plates will qualify them to use Ontario’s High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes until 2015, even if there is just one person in the vehicle; give them access to provincial recharging facilities; and allow them to use designated parking spots at the University of Toronto and private companies such as Wal-Mart Canada. Particularly interesting from a crowdsourcing perspective is that the province’s green license plate design was chosen through public voting from among four competing alternatives. If there’s anything more gratifying than simply reaping the benefits of an environmentally friendly vehicle, it’s having that ethical purchase decision recognized and rewarded, for all the world to see. How long before every DMV under the sun has its own version of the green license plate…? Spotted by: Monica Watkins



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