I know what you’re going to say, so I’ll say it myself: I’m in danger of turning into an apologist for electric cars, given my previous defence of their slow sales so far and what I’m about to write.

So let me get this cleared up first: I’m not blinded by the science, and I’m not interested in foisting an expensive technology on people who don’t need it. But I do believe in giving progressive technology an airing, and I do believe in promoting rather than knocking something that’s new.

I’ve argued before that people need to give electric vehicles more time before they start slating them, and now I’m more certain than ever that that is true.

Why? Because in the first eight months of this year 837 pure electric vehicles were registered in the UK, including 499 Nissan Leafs.

The most interesting comparison of these seemingly slight numbers is with the initial Toyota Prius sales, from the first eight months it was on the market. Guess what? Just 424 Prius’s were registered in that time period.

My conclusion? New technology is both relatively expensive and takes time to be accepted. Today, Prius (rightly or wrongly) is almost a watch-word for eco-motoring. The UK public have embraced it, buying almost 50,000 models, Toyota is about to build a range of cars under the Prius banner and Prius-style technology is appearing in cars from virtually every manufacturer looking to lower emissions outputs.