The new Renault Clio dCi 90 Eco emits fewer CO2 emissions than the all-electric Nissan Leaf, research by Sust-it shows.
Vehicle Certification Agency figures show the diesel Clio gives off 83 grams of CO2 for each kilometre it travels, while the Leaf uses 173 watts of electricity over the same distance.
It was calculated the CO2 emissions produced during the charging process equate to 94 grams of CO2, which makes the diesel more CO2 efficient by 206 kilograms each year based on a motorist doing 12,000 miles.
While an electric car may not necessarily deliver its promise of zero emissions, it is cheaper to run. The owner of a Nissan Leaf will spend £483 a year, almost half the £895 spent by a Clio driver.
Sust-it said: "The concept of zero emissions for electric cars needs to be corrected. A first step would be to clearly show the CO2 emissions produced in electricity generation, and then display this on the showroom energy labels and marketing material."
Copyright Press Association 2013