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Nissan Leaf named European Car of the Year


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Nissan Leaf named European Car of the Year

The Nissan Leaf (shown) beat the Alfa Romeo Giulietta by nine points to win the 2011 European Car of the Year award.

Paul McVeigh

Automotive News Europe -- November 29, 2010 14:51 CET

The Nissan Leaf has been named the 2011 European Car of the Year, the first time the award has gone to an electric car.

The Leaf beat 40 contenders including runner-up the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and third-place-finisher the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva to win the award, which is chosen by 57 motoring journalists from 23 European countries.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said the award shows that the Leaf is competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, spaciousness and handling.

"The Leaf represents a significant first step toward a zero-emission future,” Ghosn said in a statement.

Hakan Matson, the award jury president, said: “The jury acknowledged that the Leaf is a breakthrough for electric cars."

The Leaf is powered by a front-mounted compact electric motor, which drives the front wheels. The car has a range of more than 160km (about 100 miles).

The Leaf will go on sale in Japan and the United States starting in December and in selected markets in Europe early next year.

Nissan last won the European Car of the Year award in 1993 with the Micra subcompact.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101129/ANE/101129903/1303#ixzz16gXwlLdQ

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Nissan Leaf nabs 2011 European Car of the Year award

by Autoblog Staff (RSS feed) on Nov 29th 2010 at 11:01AM

03nissanleaf2011fd.jpg

At the start of November, the 41 contenders for the 2011 European Car of the Year award were trimmed down to seven finalists. Today, for the first time ever, Europe's most coveted automotive award went to vehicle that that relies upon electrical juice flowing from its lithium-ion battery pack as its sole source of motivation. That battery-powered vehicle, the Nissan Leaf, marks the automaker's first win since the Micra took home the award way back in 1993. Head juror Hakan Matson proclaims that the Leaf is "a breakthrough for electric cars" and that it "is the first electric vehicle that can match conventional cars in many respects." Nissan chief executive officer Carlos Ghosn accepted the honor and responded with:

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.

The Leaf faced strong competition from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Citroën C3/DS3, Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max, Opel/Vauxhall Meriva and Volvo S60/V60. Early predictions by some of the motoring press suggested that the pair of models from Citroën or perhaps even the lone Alfa Romeo vehicle would capture the award, but that's not how the jury of 57 automotive journalists ended up seeing it, and the electric Nissan Leaf grabbed the top spot. Last year, the Volkswagen Polo snatched the Car of the Year title away from second-place finisher, the Toyota iQ. In 2009, the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia just beat out the Ford Fiesta for the honor.

The Leaf also recently won the Green Car of the Year title from the UK's TheGreenCarWebsite and was named the 2011 "Best Car to Buy" by Green Car Reports. Hat tip to Matt!

[source: Nissan]

PRESS RELEASE

The 100% ELECTRIC NISSAN LEAF IS 2011 EUROPEAN CAR OF THE YEAR

-- First electric vehicle to win the prestigious award --

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Nov. 29, 2010) - 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 the Year.

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 future."

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 powering accessories.

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 2013.

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 thefourth 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.

LINK:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/11/29/nissan-leaf-nabs-2011-european-car-of-the-year-award/

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Nissan Leaf Named European Car Of The Year

Key victory for new Nissan battery-electric vehicle.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.29, 2010

The 2011 Nissan Leaf wins a key award.

After watching its top battery car competitor, the Chevrolet Volt, snag several key endorsements, the 2011 Nissan Leaf has landed a big one of its own. The compact battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, has been named European Car of the Year, overcoming tough competition from an assortment of conventional and “green” products.

Leaf’s victory not only marks the first time a battery car has won the influential award but the first time an electric vehicle has simply made it into the final round, where Nissan’s entry was pitted 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 a modest 9 points, scoring 257 points to the Giulietta’s 248. It was clear that the 58 European Car of the Year jurors spent plenty of time debating not just the basics of the Nissan electric car but the challenges battery vehicles, in general face.

“In spite of the lack of a large recharging network and the limited range, the LEAF represents a technical and commercial bet that might otherwise satisfy many potential consumers, especially where public incentives will come to reduce the paying price,” they concluded, according to chief juror Hakan Matson.

Leaf has won several other significant awards in recent weeks. It was named Green Car of the Year by Britain’s TheGreenCarWebsite.com, for one thing. But the Chevrolet Volt has led with key third-party endorsements including the influential Motor Trend Car of the Year, Automobile magazine’s Automobile of the Year, and Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year. (Click Here for more.)

Leaf has won several other awards in recent weeks. It was named Green Car of the Year by Britain’s TheGreenCarWebsite.com, for one thing. But the Chevrolet Volt has led with key third-party endorsements in the U.S., notably including the influential Motor Trend Car of the Year award, Automobile magazine’s Automobile of the Year, and Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year. (Click Here for more.)

Yet to be determined is the battle for the North American Car of the Year. Finalists will be announced in mid-December, and both Volt and Leaf are widely expected to be among the five car choices. The NACOTY winner will be revealed at the opening of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, on January 10, 2011.

In the U.S., Leaf goes for $32,780, but the vehicle qualifies for a variety of incentives, including a federal tax credit of $7,500.

The vehicle passed a significant milestone, earlier this month, when it was given a formal mileage rating by the Environmental Protection Agency of 99 mpg-e, a figure that is designed to reflect the battery car’s fuel efficiency equivalent if it were running on gasoline. The EPA also determined a 73 mile range per charge using a five-test average. The maker has been targeting a range of 100 miles, though Nissan stresses that can vary widely depending upon road conditions, weather and driver behavior.

Leaf will initially go on sale in California and a handful of other warm weather states before beginning a nationwide roll-out that will extend through the rest of 2011. The Japanese launch is also set for next month. In Europe, an early 2011 debut is planned, starting with Portugal, Ireland, the U.K. and the Netherlands.

During his speech, Ghosn noted that Nissan – and its luxury brand, Infiniti – are currently developing three more battery cars, while the Japanese maker’s European affiliate, Renault, has four additional electric vehicles in the pipeline. By mid-decade, the alliance partners will have a global capacity in place to produce as many as 550,000 BEVs annually.

link:

http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2010/11/nissan-leaf-named-european-car-of-the-year/

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