Chinese vehicle manufacturer, New Power, claims to have developed a full-sized electric four-seater with a range of 400 kilometress which will go into production in China next year. The company plans to bring it to the UK “within the next couple of years”.

Known as the Zhong Tai, the vehicle has lithium-ion batteries that can be recharged in 6-8 hours from a conventional socket, or in two hours from a high-power recharging point. With a top speed of 120 kilometres per hour and an estimated price tag of between £16,300 and £20,500 ($au33,000 and $au40,000) in Britain.

The car is based on the 4×4 Daihatsu Terios which New Power manufactures under licence in China.

The Chinese Government is offering generous grants towards the production of electric vehicles, and has a policy that all car companies should be producing at least one green vehicle by 2011.