The all-electric Nissan Leaf has been named World Car of the Year 2011 in a ceremony at the New York International Auto Show. The jurors noted that it was "the world's first, purpose-built, mass-produced electric car", and added, "The good news? It feels just like a normal car, only quieter."
A panel of 66 automotive journalists from 24 countries named the Leaf the best thing on four wheels, choosing it over 39 other automobiles from around the world. The jurors called it “the gateway to a brave new electric world.”
The Leaf's closest rivals for the title were the Audi A8 and BMW 5-Series. Previous winners of the award are the Volkswagen Polo, Volkswagen Golf, Mazda2, Lexus LS 460, BMW 3-Series and Audi A6.
This award validates EV technology. There are still hurdles to be cleared in terms of cost and range, but any car — and the technology underpinning it — that tops a field of 39 cars ranging from the Aston Martin Rapide to the Peugeot RCZ to the Volvo S60 must be taken seriously.