Government Ministers announced nine vehicles would be eligible for grants of up to $8000. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond and Business Minister Mark Prisk announced the milestone, which could make 2011 the year of the electric car for the UK. They also revealed five more British regions that will be installing local charging points, having successfully bid for a share of a £20m Government fund.
From January 2011, the motoring map of Britain will be redrawn as the government and car industry work in partnership to give drivers a wider choice of clean, green transport.
The first nine cars to become eligible for eco-friendly car grants are:
smart fortwo electric drive
Tata Vista EV
Toyota Prius Plug-in
More will follow in 2011.
The grant will be available to motorists across the UK from 1 January 2011. The money will reduce the cost of eligible cars by a quarter, up to a maximum of $8000.
The Government is also encouraging a new network of electric vehicle recharging points in streets, parking lots and commercial retail and leisure facilities. It is hoped that driving electric cars will becomes part of everyday life for pioneering British drivers.
The successful bidding consortia in this second phase are based in: the Midlands; Greater Manchester; East of England; Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said:"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.
"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."
Business Minister Mark Prisk said:
“The news that motorists will be able to choose from at least nine cars under the consumer incentive scheme, and that we are expanding the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, will further reinforce the message that the UK is Europe’s leading supporter of ultra-low carbon vehicles."