By politics.co.uk staff
Motorists will be offered £5,000 to buy electric and hybrid cars, under new government plans announced today.
The figure is well above previous assumptions about government plans to encourage the cars, and comes as rumours circulate of Treasury plans to offer an incentive to car trading in nest week's Budget.
The car-scrappage scheme would provide £2,000 for car owners to trade in their old cars for new ones, thereby boosting the struggling car industry.
A similar scheme, implemented in Germany, increased car sales by 40 per cent.
The electric car measures are not expected to bear fruit until 2011, when the cars hit showrooms, but the government is committing £250 million to low carbon transport over the next five years and the electric car policy is being given pride of place.
"Less than 0.1 per cent of the UK's 26 million cars are electric, so there is a huge untapped potential to reduce emissions," said transport secretary Geoff Hoon.
The move would need to be couple with investment in infrastructure. The cars need charging stations to top up their power on the roads.