With one beady eye on CO2 emissions, the government would like us to believe that electric cars represent the future of automotive transportation in the UK - but the latest figures suggest that the installation of public charging points is falling well short of projected targets.

By 2013 the Department of Transport plans to have delivered 9000 points, but BBC research revealed that so far the project has delivered just 704 usable sites.

This shortfall means few towns and cities have meaningful coverage of the technology, which is deemed critical to ensuring the public's widespread acceptance of electric cars.

With 8,600 such vehicles expected to be sold this year, the government is likely to fall well short of the target of 1.8 vehicles for every publicly available point.

The BBC's research pinpointed logistical difficulties as the main reason for the delay, particularly the practical problems associated with laying the power cables beneath the road necessary for providing recharging facilities.