NEW YORK – On Thursday at the New York International Auto Show, the 100-percent electric, zero-emission Nissan LEAF was named 2011 World Car of the Year, edging out the BMW 5-Series and the Audi A8 for the top spot.
Today’s 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.
“It is a great joy that the world’s first, mass-marketed electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, has won the prestigious award of 2011 World Car of the Year,” said Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “This accolade recognizes Nissan LEAF, a pioneer in zero-emission mobility, as comparable in its driving performance, quietness and superb handling to gas-powered cars. And it validates Nissan’s clear vision and the values of sustainable mobility that we want to offer to customers around the world.”
The World Car Awards jurors observed that, “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 claims Nissan, takes around 8 hours to recharge using 220-240V power supply and produces zero tailpipe emissions. Its low center of gravity produced sharp turn-in with almost no body roll and no understeer. The good news? It feels just like a normal car, only quieter.”
The World Car of the Year competition was launched in 2004, with winners chosen by a panel of automotive journalists from Asia, Europe and North America.
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 also will be manufactured at the company’s Smyrna, Tenn., 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 organizations around the world not only to develop and produce EV and lithium-ion batteries but also to promote sustainable mobility. Nissan is also taking a comprehensive approach to encourage to the world to 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.