The government has revealed nine models of electric cars that will be eligible for grants of up to £5,000.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and Business Minister Mark Prisk also unveiled five more regions that will be installing local charging points having successfully bid for a share of a £20m fund.
The first nine cars to become eligible for eco-friendly grants are the Mitsubishi iMiEV; smart fortwo electric drive; Peugeot iON; Citroen CZero; Nissan Leaf; Tata Vista EV; Toyota Prius Plug-in; Vauxhall Ampera and the Chevrolet Volt. More will follow next year.
The grant will be available to motorists across the UK from January 1, reducing the cost of eligible cars by a quarter, up to a maximum of £5,000.
The government is also encouraging a new network of electric vehicle recharging points in streets, car parks and commercial retail and leisure facilities. The successful bidding consortia in this second phase are based in the Midlands; Greater Manchester; East of England; Scotland and Northern Ireland. London, Milton Keynes and the North East of England already have charging point plans in place. Milton Keynes was specifically chosen as so many of its residents travel by car rather than public transport.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said yesterday: “A few years ago, ultra-low emission cars with mass market appeal appeared just a pipe dream. Now they are a reality and we can have all the convenience of the car without all the carbon that normally goes with it.”
He added: “Government action to support affordable vehicles and more local charging points means we are on the threshold of an exciting green revolution – 2011 could be remembered as the year the electric car took off.
“The British public has in the past shown it’s ready to embrace new technology and take practical steps to adopt a lifestyle kinder to the environment, so we could really be at the start of something big.”