Maserati boss Harald Wester has described electrically powered cars as "nonsense", saying regulatory bodies need to take a more realistic approach to how they measure emissions before pushing through regulations that favour them.

Citing statistics that suggest average power station efficiency means the average electric car requires 86g of CO2 to be produced to travel a kilometre in Europe, 110g/km in the USA and 191g/km in China.

Wester said: "All this discussion about zero emissions is nonsense. Nobody talks about the efficiency of how the battery is charged. It varies strongly from region to region, depending on how the energy is produced, nuclear, coal and so on, but even the best is not ahead of the internal combustion engine."

He conceded that Maserati could be forced to develop a hybrid powertrain option to meet stringent emissions legislation, especially in the US, but said: "It looks like something we will have to, but the only reason to do it is to meet regulations. We don't see it as a significant business.

"Diesel and CNG are the more obvious answers if CO2 is the focus. Both are more viable answers than hybrid. If they gave us a CO2 target instead of imposing technology then we would go that way.

"If we want a realistic solution to emissions then the regulators need to be more honest in how they calculate emissions. Electric cars are not the answer."

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