Sometimes the easiest way to gauge a car’s sales success is to look around you, because what’s coming by on the roads is generally what’s flying out of the dealerships.

So how many of you have seen an electric car on the road? Not many, I’m guessing, and I bet those of you that have live in or close to London. To back up your hunches, I’ve listed the official 2011 sales figures below.

Does this mean electric cars are a flop? That the buying public isn’t buying into the ‘emissions-free’ motoring future promised by the adverts? (And before anyone starts, let’s not turn this into another ‘emissions-free’ debate…)

Well on this occasion I don’t think you should trust any hunches based on what you’re seeing. Now, I’m not pretending that 600-ish electric car sales in six months is anything to shout about, but nor do I think it’s worth doom and gloom headlines.

After all, the electric car sales push only began a few months into this year, with the Nissan Leaf going on sale and the government’s grant of up to £5000 kicking in. What’s more, charging points remain a rarity, with latest estimates suggesting that we’ll only get a semi-decent infrastructure of 13,000 points in place by the end of 2013.