Top 5 plug-in cars
The move will see more public charging points spring up in places such as railway stations but also offers EV owners grants of up to £1000 to go towards the cost of installing charging stations at home.
Now is an attractive time to make the electric switch, especially for those who regularly make shorter trips, so take a look at our guide of the best plug-in cars on the market...
Arguably the first mass marketed pure electric car, the Nissan Leaf has sold 50,000 units worldwide. News also broke recently that the car is to be produced in Nissan's Sunderland plant, further proving the Japanese firm's commitment to petrol alternatives. It is surprisingly roomy inside the micro-machine and once the odd sensation of zero exhaust note and instantaneous torque has passed, it proves a fairly peppy drive.
Renault is yet to hand the keys to its electric baby over to motoring journalists just yet but early signs are promising. The Zoe will cost £13,650 after the government incentive, bringing it in line with the cost of rival superminis. The Zoe is also more stylish and more practical than many other all-electric offerings, it looks like a real car and can transport a family like a real car.
A 47kW motor that produces the equivalent of 64bhp powers this small city car and the result is acceleration that's fairly swift and strong on short blasts. In fact, the iOn will happily make a mockery of petrol-powered superminis off the line. The lack of gearbox also adds to the Go-Kart driving experience but unfortunately ride and handling is compromised. A lack of grip through turns doesn't inspire confidence and the car simply can't handle longer journeys at higher speeds. The range is around 100 miles if driven conservatively so it certainly isn't an answer to lengthy commutes but it does make for a good, low-cost city car alternative.
Toyota Prius Plug-in
This is technically still a hybrid vehicle but Toyota has cleverly fitted Lithium-ion batteries for the first time in the Prius. The batteries can be recharged in around 90 minutes and they extend the all-electric range from just 2 miles to a much more useful 12.5 miles, meaning short trips in and out of town can be made on electricity alone. It may not be a complete leap from petrol power but Toyota's years of experience with EVs provides peace of mind to the nervy buyer.
Tesla Model S
Elon Musk and the guys behind Tesla Motors are on a crusade to change the face of transport and they believe electrically-powered cars are the way forward. The Tesla Roadster was the first car to leave the Silicon Valley HQ and its Lotus Elise foundations proved that green cars didn't have to be boring. The Model S takes things further with its 265-mile range and 5.6 seconds 0-60mph sprint time. Unfortunately, the car is still in production but UK customers can reserve theirs for as little as £4,000. Deliveries start mid-2013, if all goes to plan.