Nissan's 100% electric LEAF is the vehicle standing proudly as a 2011 European Car of the Year. The highly-innovative, zero-emissions, affordable Nissan ride has managed to beat all 40 contenders and win motoring's most important accolade.

This year's edition of the renowned competition marks the first time in its 47-year history that the award has gone to a pure electric vehicle. Nissan LEAF's rivals included vehicles from brands such as Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, Opel/Vauxhall and Volvo.

Hakan Matson, Presidnt of the Jury, Car of the Year stated: "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."

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s President and CEO Carlos Ghosn shared: "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."

The LEAF zero-emission vehicle draws its power by a compact electric motor mounted in the front of the ride, 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.

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