The all-electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF has been named 2011 World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show.
The LEAF beat the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A8 for the top spot. Interestingly, there was also a separate award for World Green Car of the Year, which the Chevrolet Volt won.
This award is the latest in a string of accolades for the world’s first affordable mass-market, all-electric vehicle for the global market, which was also named European Car of the Year.
The LEAF is the gateway to a brave new electric world from Nissan. This 5-seater, 5-door hatchback is the world’s first, purpose-built, mass-produced electric car. It has a range of over 100 miles on a full charge, takes around eight hours to recharge using 220-240V power supply and produces zero tailpipe emissions. It feels just like a normal car, only quieter, and its low centre of gravity produces sharp turn-in and little body roll.
The Nissan LEAF is available in Japan, the United States and select European markets, and will be released in other global markets in 2012. The vehicle is currently built at Nissan’s Oppama, Japan plant. It will also be manufactured at the company’s Smyrna plant in the United States in late 2012 and at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the United Kingdom by early 2013.
Aiming to be the world leader in zero-emission vehicles, Nissan, with its Alliance partner, Renault, has formed partnerships with more than 90 governments, cities and other organisations around the world to develop and produce EV and lithium-ion batteries and also to promote sustainable mobility.
Nissan is also taking a comprehensive approach to encourage more sustainable mobility such as improvement of charging service, infrastructure deployment, the promotion of the use of recycled materials and overall energy management system including second-life use of lithium-ion batteries.