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Electric cars may get cash subsidy

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The Government may offer cash subsidies of between £2,000 and £5,000 to anyone buying an electric car after 2011, says Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon.

The initiative, which is also seen as a much-needed boost for the car insurance industry, is being hailed as "a real option for motorists" as well as cutting carbon emissions.

To be eligible for the cash incentives, the cars would have to have a top speed and range to appeal to the mass market, while meeting strict modern safety standards.

The incentives are planned to coincide with the expected mass introduction of electric and plug-in hybrid (part electric, part petrol) cars that will put low-carbon transport at the centre of the Government's vision for the UK economy

It includes a £250m scheme to promote the infrastructure and support technology and encouragement of manufacture in the UK.

The Department for Transport is beginning discussions with the motor industry and financiers to determine how best to deliver this assistance.

© Press Association 2009