A SCIENCE expert in the Capital has discovered just how climate-friendly the electric car really is.
In one of the first known studies of its kind, Gary Davis, who works for Edinburgh-based company Ecometrica, looked at the level of carbon released every time an electric car is charged up.
He said he wanted to quash the misconception that electric cars are zero emitters just because they do not release carbon from an exhaust pipe.
Mr Davis, who lives on Ferry Road, looked at electric cars in comparison to traditional vehicles and calculated the level of carbon released by the power station every time the electric vehicle is charged.
• After a city scientist's findings, are you less likely to buy an electric car? Vote here
He said: "There has been a lot of talk of electric vehicles and 2011 has been hailed the year of the electric car.
"But while people say the electric car is zero carbon emissions when it comes to everyday use, they don't consider the emissions released at the power station when the car is being charged up.
"But we've calculated that number by looking at the three most common electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi i-Miev and Renault Fluenz EV, and we're glad to say the emissions per kilometre are lower than any other car. It certainly isn't zero though."
The study found that the electric car produces 75g of carbon emissions per kilometre, compared to emissions of 208g from the average UK car.
The lowest number for a petrol or diesel car was the Toyota Prius, which releases 89g per kilometre into the atmosphere.
He added: "I think this study is pretty useful in that it raises the awareness of people and helps them assess the impact they're having on the environment."
Ecometrica, based at Kittle Yards, is a company that specialises in greenhouse gas accounting, ecosystem services and climate change policy.