All new electric cars to be fitted with high-tech green lights

Paulo Baileè

22 Sep 2022

Plans are being drawn up to equip all new electric cars with new green headlights. The scheme, which is part of a Europe-wide drive to highlight the number of electric cars on the roads, will see the traditional red tail lights and white front lights make way for next-generation green LEDs that will have the added benefit of using a special night vision technology. 

Green is the new red

Under the plan, which is expected to become law across the EU and in the UK by 2023, all new electric cars will be required to leave the factory with headlights and tail lights that emit a green hue. To ensure compliance across the industry, all manufacturers will be required to Pantone match the green to 7481C. 

Commenting on the plan, Eloda Raubissh, Head of implementation at the department of Joint Operations & Kinematics Europe said: “Red lights are traditionally associated with things that stop or go wrong. We think green is a more positive colour. We know that some drivers may be confused by having both rear and front lights the same colour, so the scheme will be launched with a pan-European ad campaign. The message we want to get across is that a green light getting bigger is a car coming towards you, a green light getting smaller is a car going away from you.”

The move marks the first change away from traditional white and red lights since the colours were standardised in 1895. Originally patented by British inventor, Sir Cecil Headlight in 1893, the traditional white front / red rear layout was chosen at the time because green lights were reserved for members of the royal family and architects. 

Green rear lights mark the first major change in car lighting regulations for more than a century

Night vision functionality

As an added bonus, the new generation of green lights come with a special night vision function that delivers a far clearer view of the road. The system, which uses military technology, is so effective that drivers will be able to turn off their headlights altogether. This will mean fewer oncoming drivers are dazzled by over-bright LED lights while also saving energy. 

“We know that light pollution is a concern in urban areas and beyond and that drivers don’t like to be dazzled by oncoming traffic.” said project lead Vidal Whiteleye. “By allowing drivers to switch their lights off completely and rely on the green night vision, this problem is eliminated.”

In addition to the other benefits, the green lights will enable the police and other authorities to easily identify electric vehicles which are entering restricted zero emission zones in cities. Pauline Yerlegg, head analyst from G.A.G Detection Systems said: “The green light will make it much easier for our cameras to differentiate between petrol cars and those which are pure electric. 

“We recognise that this may cause issues for existing electric car owners, so we suggest saving up the green wrappers from your Christmas tins of Quality street and putting them over your headlamp bulbs.”

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