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More manufacturers to apply this year for plug-in EV grants

Car manufacturers will this year make new applications for plug-in grants to support the launch of future ultra-low emission models.

The Government will next year announce those that are successful.

Nine cars in phase one of the programme have qualified since January 1.

All have CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km, which means their manufacturers can claim the plug-in car grant of up to £5,000 (no more than 25% of the list price).

Three are available now – the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and its Peugeot iOn spin-off, and Smart’s ForTwo electric drive.

They will be followed by the Citroën C-Zero (also i-MiEV based) from “early 2011”.

Another two models – the Nissan Leaf and Tata Vista – qualify from March. Three more – GM’s Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt, and the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid – will be on sale in early 2012.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: “The motor industry is making great progress in delivering practical, low carbon vehicles and we will see further progress of new and conventional technologies in the years ahead.”

He said the grants confirmed the UK as a leading player in making low carbon an economic and environmental winner.

“The transition to ultra-low carbon vehicles is a great opportunity for the UK motor industry,” he said.

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.”

A second round of government funding will widen the UK’s electric vehicle charging network.

Local authorities in the Midlands, Greater Manchester, east of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will share £20m to install 4,000 more charging points “in the coming years”.

London, Milton Keynes and north-east England will install more than 11,000 charging posts by 2013.

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