Nine cars confirmed for £5,000 government grant

Electric and hybrid cars are included in the nine-strong list, which includes models from Chevrolet, Vauxhall and Citroen.

None of the cars are currently available to buy, but the four-door Peugeot iOn electric city car will be one of three cars available from January 2011. The others include the smart fortwo electric and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

The Citroen C-Zero, a rebadged version of the Peugeot iOn which, unlike its sibling, will be available to buy outright instead of a leasing contract, will arrive at an unconfirmed time early in 2011.

The only other cars to arrive in 2011 which will be eligible for the grant are the Nissan Leaf and Tata Vista.

However, the Vauxhall Ampera extended-range electric vehicle and the identical Chevrolet Volt, will both be launched early in 2012 to bring the number of cars eligible to eight. The final car will be the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid in 2012.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said; “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."

There are plans for over 15,000 charging points across the UK by 2013 in a £20m scheme to improve the electric infrastructure in the wake of the influx of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Chevrolet UK Managing Director, Mark Terry, welcomed the news: “We are extremely pleased that the Government has accepted the Volt within its grant programme – as the first car in the world of its type, it means we can really hit the ground running when it arrives in the UK."

Under the scheme, the Vauxhall Ampera will cost £29,000, while models such as the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero will be available on monthly contracts of around £400 per month if a leasing option is chosen.