Very few electric cars were registered in late summer despite a surge of licensed vehicles, official figures have revealed.
More than 640,000 vehicles were registered on UK roads for the first time during the July-September period.
However there were only 516 new ultra-low emission vehicles registered, despite the £5,000 per vehicle grant which started in January.
The low-emission total for late summer 2011 was 29 per cent up on the same period in 2010 but was lower than the 628 total in the April-June period.
Even with the £5,000 grant, some electric cars cost as much as £25,000.
The total of new registrations was 6.2 per cent higher than in July-August 2010.
At the end of September this year, there were 34.5 million vehicles licensed for use on British roads of which 28.6 million were cars.
The total number of vehicles was 0.5 per cent higher than at the end of September 2010 and 0.1 per cent higher than at the end of June 2011.
While car and light van registrations rose between late summer 2010 and late summer 2011, the number of motorcycles registered fell 0.7 per cent, heavy goods vehicles fell 1.1 per cent and buses and coaches fell 1.9 per cent.