Details of nine hybrid and electric vehicles qualifying for a UK government grant of up to GBP5,000 (US$8,000) have been announced today (14 December) by the Department for Transport.

The first nine cars to become eligible for eco-friendly car grants are: Mitsubishi iMiEV; Smart Fortwo electric drive; Peugeot iON; Citroen Czero; Nissan Leaf; Tata Vista EV; Toyota Prius Plug-in; Vauxhall Ampera and Chevrolet Volt. More models are due to follow next year.

"Government action to support affordable vehicles and more local charging points means we are on the threshold of a green revolution - in fact 2011 could be remembered as the year the electric car took off," said transport secretary Philip Hammond.

From 1 January 2011, motorists will be entitled to a plug-in car grant of up to GBP5,000 when buying any qualifying low carbon car with CO2 emissions less than 75g/km.

The announcement also detailed the five further successful areas that bid for plugged-in places funding. The Midlands, Greater Manchester, East of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will share GBP20m to install 4,000 more charging points in the coming years.

These new zones join London, Milton Keynes and North East England that will install more than 11,000 charging posts across the three regions by 2013.

"Today's news means motorists will be able to choose from at least nine cars under the consumer incentive scheme and we are expanding the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles will further reinforce the message the UK is Europe's leading producer of ultra low carbon vehicles," said business minister Mark Prisk.

Vauxhall announced today customers will pay GBP28,995 for its Ampera model, including government assistance.