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Leaf snaps up Euro COTY

2010-11-30 07:26

100% ELECTRIC: Nissan's Leaf is the 2011 European Car of the Year.

Nissan’s all-electric Leaf has become the first of its kind to win the coveted European Car of the Year title.

The zero-emissions hatchback scored 257 points, nine clear of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta on 248.

The Opel Meriva (244), Ford C-Max (224), Citroën C3/DS3 (175), Volvo S60/V60 (145) and Dacia Duster (132) brought up the rear.

It was the first time in the 47-year history of the annual competition that the award went to an electric vehicle.

Nissan’s president and CEO Carlos Ghosn said the award reflected Nissan’s standing as an innovative brand with a clear vision of the future of transportation.

“This award recognises the pioneering zero-emission Nissan Leaf as competitive to conventional cars in terms of safety, performance, spaciousness and handling," he added. “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 – the Nissan Leaf represents a significant first step toward a zero-emission future."

The European Coty jury is made up of 58 motoring journalists from 23 countries who choose the most outstanding new car to go on sale in their markets in the past 12 months.

Hakan Matson, jury president, said “The jury acknowledged today that the Nissan Leaf is a breakthrough for electric cars. Nissan's Leaf is the first electric vehicle that can match conventional cars in many respects.”

Nissan also won the European Coty in 1993 when the Micra became the first car from a Japanese automaker to win the award.

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