The Institute for Public Policy Research argues a green badge scheme, similar to the blue badges offered to disabled drivers, is needed to help increase interest in environmentally-friendly vehicles.
Associate director Will Straw said: “Although early days, Britain is currently behind other European countries and the USA in terms of the take up of electric cars and other ultra low emission vehicles.”
An AA spokesman said that allowing drivers to park on double yellow lines could cause problems with traffic but the organisation backed “sensible parking policies” that reward drivers of low emission cars.
“The best way to do it is through pricing,” he said. “For example, some council areas have tried parking tariffs that mean you are charged less if your car has lower emissions levels.”