Subsidising the purchase of electric cars is the Government's latest attempt to kick-start the green economy amid the deepening recession.
It is planning to announce a £2,000 grant for any motorist who buys such a car, for which Britain is a major centre of production.
And location is a crucial factor, with Whitehall having frozen a similar planned £2,000 "scrappage" subsidy after ministers feared that it might have ended up subsidising foreign car producers.
Instead, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has pledged to use the incentive to help make Britain a world leader in electric and hybrid cars. Vauxhall is due to introduce the Ampera next year, which is a British version of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid made by General Motors.
Said a government source: "We want to encourage people to buy these cars. They are good for the environment, and Britain is also a major centre of production."
The subsidy is intended to mirror the grants that are available to people who install solar thermal and photovoltaic energy equipment in their homes.
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