Motor manufacturers will be invited to bid for the opportunity to participate in a GBP10m project in the UK to run electric car and ultra low carbon vehicle demonstration projects, overseen by the Technology Strategy Board.

"This will see around 100 electric cars provided to allow families and other motorists the opportunity to feedback the practical steps needed to make greener motoring an everyday reality," the Department of Transport said today (27 October).

Up to GBP20m has been dedicated to UK research into improving technology that could make electric and other green cars more practical and affordable.

New research concludes that, correctly managed, the UK power system could support widespread use of electric cars and their charging needs without requiring large numbers of new power stations, the department said.

To encourage the mass production of green vans for the first time, the department also announced on Monday that 10 companies have been short-listed to bid to provide electric and low carbon vans to some councils and other public sector bodies, like the Royal Mail, as part of a GBP20m programme to ensure all road transport emissions are reduced.

Liverpool, Newcastle, Gateshead, Coventry, Glasgow and Leeds will be among the first councils to trial green vans on their streets.

The 10 companies are: Ford; Mercedes Benz; Citroen; Ashwoods; Land Rover, Modec; Smiths; Electric Vehicles; LDV; Nissan and Allied Vehicles.