Yokohama, Japan - In a historic moment for Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and zero emission vehicles, the 100% electric Nissan LEAF was awarded 2011 European Car of the Year.
The world?s first mass-marketed, affordable, zero-emission vehicle for
the global market beat 40 contenders to win motoring?s most important
accolade. This is the first time in the 47-year history of the annual
competition that the award has gone to an electric vehicle. Nissan
LEAF?s rivals included vehicles from brands such as Alfa Romeo, Citroen,
Dacia, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Volvo. The jury included 57 leading
motoring journalists from 23 European countries.
?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,? said Håkan Matson, President of the Jury, Car of
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.?s President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said: ?This award
recognizes 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
Nissan LEAF is powered by a compact electric motor in the front of the
car, which drives the front wheels. The AC motor develops 80 kW of power
and 280 Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 145 km/h (90 mph).
The electric motor is powered by a Nissan-developed laminated
lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90 kW. The car has a
range of 175 km (New European Driving Cycle) between charges making it a
practical proposition for many urban drivers.
The vehicle is fully equipped with features such as regenerating
braking, air conditioning, satellite navigation, parking camera and
advanced on-board IT and telematics systems. Innovative connectivity
will allow an owner to set charging functions to monitor the car's
current state of charge and the remaining battery capacity, as well as
to heat or cool the interior of the car remotely via mobile phone or
computer. The Nissan LEAF will be available in five colors in Europe -
blue metallic and pearl, white pearl, silver metallic, black solid and
red pearl. The single option is a solar panel mounted in the rear
spoiler that supports charging of the car's 12V battery used for
Deliveries in Japan and the United States begin this December. In
Europe, deliveries start in early 2011 to Portugal, the Republic of
Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands. The zero-emission car 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
Nissan?s innovative thinking extends beyond zero-emission mobility.
Under the PURE DRIVE label, Nissan manufactures an extended line-up of
environmentally friendly, internal combustion engine vehicles offering
class-leading fuel efficiency supported by advanced green technologies.
In Europe, the company will soon launch an advanced petrol-electric
hybrid luxury sedan wearing the Infiniti badge, while hugely popular
crossover vehicles, such as Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Juke, have created
new and exciting vehicle segments dominated by Nissan. Next year will
also see the arrival of the fourth generation Nissan Micra powered by a
supercharged version of an all-new 1.2-litre three cylinder direct
injection petrol engine with an Idling Stop system to offer spirited
performance and CO2 emissions of just 95g/km.
Nissan has won the CoTY award in Europe before. In 1993, the UK-built
Nissan Micra became the first car from a Japanese automaker to win the
accolade and started Europe?s love affair with the little car that
continues today with the recent launch of the newest Nissan Micra model.