Nissan Leaf named European Car of the Year

(November 29, 2010) In an historic moment for Nissan Motor Company, the all-electric Nissan Leaf was named 2011 European Car of the Year.

This is the first time in the 47-year history of the annual competition that the award has gone to an electric vehicle.

The world's first mass-marketed, affordable, zero-emission vehicle beat 40 contenders to win European motoring's most important accolade. The Leaf's rivals included vehicles from brands such as Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Volvo. The jury included 57 leading automotive journalists from 23 European countries.

The Leaf was pitted in the final voting against the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Opel Meriva, Citroen C3/DS3, Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max and Volvo S60.

“This award recognizes the pioneering zero-emission Nissan Leaf as competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, spaciousness and handling,” said Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn as he accepted the annual award. “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.”

The Nissan Leaf bested its nearest competitor by just nine points, scoring 257 points to the Giulietta’s 248.

The victory came just days after the Leaf was beaten out by the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt for Motor Trend Car of the Year honors and the Green Car Journal's "Green Car of the Year" award.