The Nissan Leaf won the World Car of the Year in 2011. It was chosen from an initial entry list of thirty-nine (39) new vehicles from all over the world, then a short list of ten, then three finalists: the Nissan Leaf, the Audi A8 and the BMW 5 Series.
“It is a great joy that the world’s first, mass-marketed electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, has won the prestigious award of 2011 World Car of the Year,” said Nissan Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “This accolade recognizes Nissan LEAF, a pioneer in zero-emission mobility, as comparable in its driving performance, quietness and superb handling to gas-powered cars. And it validates Nissan’s clear vision and the values of sustainable mobility that we want to offer to customers around the world.”
"The Leaf is the gateway to a brave new electric world from Nissan. This 5-seater, 5-door hatchback is the world's first, purpose-built, mass-produced electric car." - The Jurors observed.
Nissan Leaf could easily be the World Innovation of the Year. Leaf has altered the automobile landscape for the better. More automakers will follow the Leaf and produce mass-market all electric cars. Chevy Volt is a great competitor, and offers the hybrid gas-electric model. Chevy Volt won the World Green Car of the Year. It remains to be seen which model will be commercially successful in the short term - Leaf, Volt or both.
Point: Tesla Motors introduced their high end limited production Tesla Speedster back in 2006.
Trivia: Did you know what Leaf stands for? "LEAF" is a backronym for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car (source: Nissan).