Electric cars are not the short-term solution in the shift to greener vehicles, a British research and advocacy group on mobility issues said.

The Royal Automobile Club Foundation (RAC) criticized the British government for promoting electric vehicles long before automakers will be able to produce the cars on a massive scale.

It has gone out of its way to encourage people to make green choices, yet these choices are not yet realistic, said Stephen Glaister, a professor at the foundation in a statement Thursday referring to electric cars. The RAC Foundation estimates that electric vehicles won't be available on the mass market until at least 2017 leaving many potential buyers frustrated.

Instead it proposes for the short term to increase road capacity to cut congestion and carbon dioxide emissions, focus on producing leaner petrol and diesel engines; and make smaller and lighter cars.

The RAC also said in a new report that about a fifth of 34 million motorists surveyed in the U.K. are planning or would consider buying an electric car.