London, England – The U.K. government has announced that it will offer subsidies to buyers of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, starting in January 2011. The subsidy will be worth 25 per cent of the car’s recommended retail price, to a maximum of £5,000.

The first “Plugged-In Places” have been announced in London, Milton Keynes and the North East, with 11,000 vehicle recharging points to be installed in the three centres during the next three years.

A number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are expected to be available in the U.K. by 2011 and eligible for the grant. It will be distributed directly to consumers at the point of purchase and will be managed similarly to the “scrappage scheme,” with cars discounted at the point of purchase and the subsidy claimed by the manufacturer, in order to provide a straightforward process for the consumer. The government is seeking state aid approval from the European Commission to operate the subsidy.

The initiatives are part of a £450 million government strategy to support the creation of a flourishing early market for ultra-low-carbon vehicles.

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