While the Nissan Leaf Electric Sedan was not the first foray into electric transportation for Nissan Motors, it was the first fully electric car available to the general markets. The Leaf, a name that stands for Leading Affordable Environmentally friendly Family car, is a 5 door hatchback that was first introduced in Japan and the US in 2010. The US EPA has rated the Leaf's combined fuel economy equivalent to that of 99mpg. While the Leaf was delivered first in Japan and the US, by November 2011 it had also arrived in Ireland, the UK, Canada, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Switzerland. Global marketing is scheduled for 2012.
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There was a limited availability of the Nissan Leaf Electric Sedan because of the manufacturing limitations on the vehicle. This meant that only specific markets had access to the vehicle initially and only those who had made an online reservation could order one. The goal is to have production added in the US in 2012 and in the UK by 2013. This will increase the amount of Leaf sedans that can be produced and sold in various markets. It will open up the option of an electric car to those who had previously been unable to get one.
The Leaf is a completely electric car with no pollution or emissions and no need for gasoline. Since its initial release it has won numerous awards including 2010 Green Car Vision and 2011 World Car of the Year. The Nissan Leaf Electric Sedan is the first electric car to be marketed by Nissan Motors, but it was not the first that was designed and sold by them. The Nissan Altra was the first electric vehicle produced by Nissan Motors and only a couple hundred were ever made during its run from 1998 to 2002. The Hypermini was another limited edition that was sold in Japan between 1999 and 2001 and was later also tested in California from 2001 to 2005.
However, it wasn't until the all electric prototype the EV-11, based on the Nissan Versa, was revealed in 2009 that Nissan appeared to seriously be producing an electric car for the general market. The production version was later unveiled in August of 2009 and it was committed to begin sales in 2010. The Nissan Leaf Electric Sedan is based on the original prototype of the EV-11 with an all electric drivetrain and enough features to make the buyer think they were in a typical vehicle.