The all-electric Nissan Leaf has just been awarded European Car of the Year for 2011. It's the first time the award has gone to an electric vehicle this year, which outscored 40 worthy contenders.
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Judging the award was 57 automotive journalists from 23 different European countries. They rated the Nissan Leaf highly giving it 257 points. Coming in second place was the Alfa Romeo Giulietta with 248 points and the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva coming in third place with 244 points.

Nissan is happy to receive the award. Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn says the award proves the Leaf offers a bit of everything in all areas. Meanwhile, the award jury president, Hakan Matson, said, “The jury acknowledged that the Leaf is a breakthrough for electric cars."

Other finalists included, the Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max which was awarded 224 points, the Citroen C3/DS3 - awarded 175 points, the Volvo S60 and V60 - awarded 145 points, and the Dacia Duster which was awarded 132 points.

It's the 47th year the award ceremony has taken place, with Nissan last picking up the award in 1993 with its Nissan Micra.

Nissan plans to produce 250,000 Leafs per year, and will go on sale in the Japanese and US markets in December joining the European market.