At this year’s New York International Auto Show, the all-electric Nissan Leaf was named the 2011 World Car of the Year. World Car Awards jurors stated that the car was chosen for being the first mass-produced electric vehicle that has a range of over 100 miles on a full charge, but mostly because the car handles like a gasoline powered vehicle, only quieter.
Late last year, we covered the car’s award for being the 2011 European Car of the Year, beating out competitor Opel. To win this year, Nissan narrowly gained the edge over well-known luxury brands BMW and Audi.
Currently, the Leaf is manufactured in Oppama, Japan, but as we reported, a plant is being built in Tennessee with operations expected in late 2012, and in 2013, production is set to begin at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in England.
2011 certainly seems to be a booming year for the Leaf, as we’ve reported extensively on the vehicle’s inclusion in the government-backed Ecotality EV charging program in America, a partnership with Coulomb in Europe, and even praise from a Republican senator. As thousands of pre-orders are expected to be fulfilled by the end of this summer, there’s a good chance that if you live in one of the participating rollout states, you’ll start to see these vehicles on the road in only a few months.