2011 European Car of the Year is Nissan Leaf image

The 100% electric Nissan LEAF has been awarded 2011 European Car of the Year. The electric vehicle from Nissan, beat 40 contenders to win motoring’s most important accolade.

Nissan LEAF is powered by a compact electric motor in the front of the car, which drives the front wheels. The AC motor develops a power output of 109PS and 280Nm of torque, enough for a maximum speed of 90mph. The electric motor is powered by a Nissan-developed laminated lithium-ion battery with an output of more than 90kW. The car has a range of more than 100 miles (New European Driving Cycle) between charges making it a practical proposition for many urban drivers.

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The vehicle is fully equipped with features such as regenerative 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 electric Nissan LEAF will be available in five colours in Europe – blue metallic and pearl, white pearl, silver metallic, black solid and red pearl.

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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. The first UK customers will get their LEAFs in March. The zero-emission car is currently being built in Japan, but will also be produced -along with its batteries – in Sunderland, England from early 2013.