NISSAN’S Leaf has been awarded the most important accolade in the industry – it’s European Car of the Year.
The Leaf fought off competition from the likes of Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Volvo, to take the crown, and in so doing the Leaf becomes the first ever electric car to take the accolade.
A jury consisting of 57 leading motoring journalists from 23 European countries debated over the award, which was headed by Håkan Matson, president of the jury.
He said: ‘The jury acknowledged today that the Nissan Leaf is a breakthrough for electric cars. Nissan Leaf is the first EV that can match conventional cars in many respects.’
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.’s president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said: ‘This award recognises the pioneering zero-emission Nissan Leaf as competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, spaciousness and handling. 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.
‘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 first UK customers will get their award-winning Leafs in March which is currently being built in Japan. Eventually it will also be built – along with its batteries – in Sunderland from early 2013.