Green motorists will be rewarded with up to £5,000 to buy an ultra-low carbon car under the new Plug-In Car Grant plan launched by the UK’s Department of Transport.

The scheme will start from January 2011, by which time the government expects there to be a range of eligible vehicles.

Plugged-In Places will also be introduced as part of a £30m fund to improve the road network for electric cars.

New infrastructure for these cars will start to appear in car-parks, supermarkets and retail centres with 11,000 recharging points set to be installed over the next three years.

UK Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said transport has a huge part to play in meeting the UK’s stringent emissions cuts.

“Decarbonising transport isn’t an aspiration – it’s a reality. By this time next year, motorists will be on the roads with these next generation cars they’ve purchased because of our help,” Lord Adonis said.

The government has already committed £450m to support the creation of a market for ultra-low carbon cars.

The Plug-In Car Grant offers new buyers 25% of the cost of a new car and will be made available to both private and commercial buyers.

Plugged-In Places will not only offer charging points for electric cars but also test innovative technology such as rapid charging and battery swaps.

The success of the first three charging hot-spots in London, Milton Keynes and the North East, will determine future roll-out with Manchester, Sheffield and Northern Ireland having already shown an interest.