Despite comparatively tiny global sales, there’s hardly a shortage of new electric car ventures. At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, even embattled Volkswagen showed another new platform - the MEB - which it describes as an "electric tool kit for use in both passenger cars and light commercial vehicles".

Perhaps that shouldn’t be such a surprise. In a global economy that’s looking rocky and uncertain, nothing attracts the ambitious investor like a new market created by government regulation. When laws change, demand shifts in a way that’s much less likely to be affected by the wider economy.

While Tesla has proved that there’s a market for all-electric premium cars, it’s the shifts in government and environmental policy around the world that have sparked serious efforts to bring electric power into the mainstream - if not budget - end of motoring.

And that’s because, after a couple of decades of everything being about CO2 emissions, the policy makers and pressure groups have suddenly woken up to the more immediately pressing issue of air pollution.

Smog-ridden China is leading the drive for the adoption of what it calls ‘new energy vehicles’ and is followed by European cities such as Paris and London, which are planning to heavily restrict diesel vehicles and could possibly ban them outright.