Most drivers will only have to wait another five years until buying an electric car becomes cheaper than a conventional motor.

This is based on new research from WeBuyAnyCar.com, which claims that many electric cars will cost less and perform better than equivalent petrol-powered models by 2022.

In the same time frame, manufacturers such as Tesla and General Motors are planning on bringing affordable models to market that provide the kind of range you would expect from a family car.

The government currently offers electric car buyers a 35% discount up to either £2,500 or £4,500 depending on the model, but the purchase price of most electric vehicles is still significantly higher than C02-emitting models, due to the expensive battery technology that powers them.

The battery in an electric car makes up around 25% of the overall purchase price, which is why some drivers lease their battery rather than buying it outright. Measured by the cost per kWh, the price of EV batteries has fallen by more than 75% since 2010, from $1,000 per kWh to less than $250 per kWh today.

Academics believe that the tipping point will be reached when batteries fall below $150 per kWh (around £120), which is expected to happen as early as 2022, according to optimistic forecasts, or closer to 2030 if you are going on more conservative forecasts.

To meet climate change targets, the UK needs 60% of all cars on the road to be electric by 2030, however, it is still some way behind countries like Norway and the Netherlands.

Norway is particularly ambitious. With electric cars already making up close to 25% of its total car fleet, it is planning on having 400,000 electric cars on the road by 2030, which is more than four times its current number.

Read more from Alex Andrews