Nissan have a website making an outrageous claim http://www.nissan-zeroemission.com/EN/index.html
On it they claim that the Nissan Leaf has reduced CO2 emissions world-wide by 31,764 tons.
I clicked on the button with the name ‘what exactly do these numbers mean?’ This is the explanation:
‘If powered by gasoline Nissan Leaf would produce 31,764 tons of CO2’
I own and drive a Nissan Leaf to get a feel for electric cars as I believe they will be part of the future. I can also plug it in on a bright sunny day and fill it up from the solar panels on my roof but usually it gets charged at night on the cheap electricity tariff. This electricity comes off the grid which includes a whole range of power stations including my local power station at Didcot which burns coal. Taking the overall carbon intensity of the UK power grid, I have done the calculation (I admit on the back of a scrap of paper) and the overall carbon emitted to charge the Nissan Leaf is comparable with the carbon emitted by an efficient small diesel car – like the one I used to drive.
The Nissan Leaf is a compact 4-seat family car for short local journeys and it works fine. I also had quite liked the idea that driving the Leaf was a statement that I was interested in the transition to a low-carbon future. For example, the solar panel on the roof to charge the small battery for the car electrics is a nice touch. However I am disgusted that Nissan is making such outrageous and unjustifiable claims. Overall, the Nissan Leaf has not saved the world from significant CO2 emissions. Nissan can claim to be a pioneer in the technology of a low-carbon future but allowing their marketing people to make claims like these will backfire and loose support. Those of us who campaign for a greener future do not want to be aligned with such corporations.
I would be happy for Nissan to show me their calculations and defend their claim but as far as I can see this is a case of ‘greenwash’ and they should be ashamed.