Nissan Leaf Wins European Car of the YearBy Michelle Krebs November 30, 2010
The all-electric Nissan Leaf was named the 2011 European Car of the Year.
"The jury acknowledged that the Nissan LEAF is a breakthrough for electric cars. Nissan Leaf is the first EV that can match conventional cars in many respects," said Hakan Matson, president of the European Car of the Year jury.
The jury includes 57 leading motoring journalists from 23 European countries.
It is the first time in the award's 47-year history that an electric car took top honors. Competitors for the 2011 award included vehicles from Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Volvo.
"This award recognizes the pioneering zero-emission Nissan Leaf as competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, spaciousness and handling," Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said in a statement.
"It also reflects Nissan's standing as an innovative and exciting brand with a clear vision of the future of transportation, which we call sustainable mobility," added Ghosn. "With three other electric vehicles in the pipeline from Nissan - and with the imminent market introduction of four additional electric vehicles from our Alliance partner Renault - Nissan LEAF represents a significant first step toward a zero-emission future."
The Nissan Leaf also is a candidate for the 2011 North American Car of the Year title, which will be presented in January at the Detroit auto show. The North American award is patterned after its European counterpart and decided by a jury of journalists, including three from .
Leaf deliveries begin in December in Japan and the United States. In Europe, deliveries start in early 2011 to Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands. The Leaf is currently being built in Japan, but will also be produced in North America and Europe when new manufacturing facilities open in late 2012 and early 2013.