If you're the proud new owner of an electric vehicle, welcome to electric driving!
No doubt there's a bunch of stuff you're learning. However, as EV drivers ourselves, we can guarantee there's a WHOLE heap you're yet to find out. Like, why you need a diamond sticker on your numberplate in various states of Australia. Typically, blue for EV, green for hybrid (although this may be different depending on which state you live in).
The short answer is that it helps emergency services to identify your vehicle type in the event of an accident, incident or fire.
In the same way that LPG vehicles have been required to display identification for many years, these stickers tell responding emergency services that your BEV or PHEV needs a specific or specialised emergency response.
Numberplate stickers for electric cars in Victoria
These diamond or triangle stickers must be affixed to all number plates, front and back, of all fully electric and hybrid vehicles. If these stickers are not on your car, you will need to obtain one to legally drive your EV on Victorian roads.
The necessary stickers that are currently required can be received via VicRoads, and are as follows:
-For hybrid vehicles a green "HYBRID" label must be displayed on the front and rear number plates.
-For electric vehicles a blue "EV" label must be displayed on both the front and rear number plates.
In ‘ROAD SAFETY (VEHICLES) REGULATIONS 2009 - REG 48B’, EV stickers are outlined as needing to be: (a) made of durable material; and (b) at least 25 millimetres wide and 25 millimetres high; and (c) mounted as a diamond; and (d) reflective blue; and (e) marked "EV" in capital letters, at least 6 millimetres high.
Why does my EV need this sticker?
The stickers required for electric and hybrid vehicles on the front and rear license plates are there to inform to SES, CFA, and other first responders and emergency workers who may attend a crash or roadside disturbance. This sticker shows that your vehicle is a hybrid or electric car rather than an ordinary car, so that they may take appropriate measures in response to the situation.
What if I don’t have a numberplate sticker for my EV?
Failing to display the required sticker on your hybrid or electric car will result in a defect notice being issued, as the car is deemed in breach of roadworthiness requirements and registration standards.
These defect notices can be issued by VicRoads, by the police, or the EPA, and after a defect notice has been issued the vehicle cannot be driven on highways or roads until it is resolved, and then cleared via a roadworthy certificate or a VicRoads inspection.
I just bought an EV and it already has a blue sticker, is that enough?
As of January 2019, all non-hydrogen powered EVs vehicles manufactured must have fixed conspicuously to its front and rear number plates a label that complies with the ‘Australian Light Vehicle Standards’. This label must be an equilateral triangle with interior angles of 60°, be made of reflective blue material, and clearly presents the letters EV in white text.
All in all, to those who don’t have this sticker, it could seem like a hassle to obtain or create but ultimately, following road laws like these stickers on electric vehicles assures the wellbeing of you and any rescue personnel if you get into an emergency. Precautions like these are a small price to pay for safety.
For more information about EV numberplate stickers for Victoria, check out the VicRoads website; for other states, please check with your state road authority.