Renault-Nissan's new petrol-electric hybrid technology would be competitive in Europe, Alliance chief executive Carlos Ghosn has said.

The e-Power transmission, announced earlier for the Nissan Note in Japan, is effectively an electric vehicle powered by a small petrol generator instead of a large battery, Reuters said.

"It's definitely cost-competitive with diesel," Ghosn told Reuters, adding that the new technology "absolutely" would be viable for the European mass-market where diesel is under a cloud following the VW emissions-cheat scandal.

Ghosn, who heads both carmakers, was speaking to Reuters at the New York Times Energy for Tomorrow conference in Paris.

A Nissan spokeswoman added: "There are no current plans for e-Power in Europe. But the technology can be adapted to other markets and (vehicle categories), so we wouldn't rule it out."

Nissan said Japanese prices for the e-Power Note would start at JPY1.77m (US$17,140) or 27% more than the basic petrol version and comparable with the extra cost of diesel in European cars such as VW's Polo.

Reuters said the e-Power Note's stated fuel economy of 37.2km/litre, based on Japanese regulatory test standards, suggested CO2 emissions of about 62g/km. Toyota's Yaris hybrid emits 75 g/km in European testing.

Renault-Nissan aims to market a battery-only vehicle in China for as little as $7,000 to $8,000 after government incentives, Ghosn also told Reuters.