2011 Nissan Leaf - Click above for high-res image gallery
By 2012, the Nissan Leaf
will be available on the global level, but what about those buyers who are chomping at the bit to get in Nissan's "game-changing" electrical vehicle before then? Well, select areas like some U.S. markets, Japan and even a few European countries will have access to early roll-out models
, but the rest of us – meaning those who reside beyond the boundaries of the early release areas – will have to wait it out. That is, unless you happen to operate a fleet and live in one of the thirteen European countries that are now part of Nissan
's agreement with LeasePlan
LeasePlan, the world's leading provider of fleet management services, has agreed to purchase more than 100 battery-powered Leafs and will begin offering them to its customers in the European countries of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in early 2011. LeasePlan's agreement comes as its customers demand cleaner fleet vehicles. LeasePlan chief executive officer, Vahid Daemi, commented on the importance of adding the Leaf to its fleet by offering these words:
This agreement with Nissan is a reflection of our drive for innovation in a changing car landscape and further proof of our corporate responsibility towards the environment. With the electric Nissan Leaf, we will be able to meet our customers' growing demand for more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
Hit the jump to discover more about the Nissan-LeasePlan deal.
Photos copyright ©2010 Damon Lavrinc / AOL
Nissan teams up with LeasePlan to take electric Nissan LEAF to the road
LeasePlan first leasing company offering Nissan LEAF in Europe
Today, LeasePlan and Nissan signed an agreement to cooperate in a European-wide project to launch the 100% electric Nissan LEAF in 2011. LeasePlan is the first leasing company to offer the Nissan LEAF in Europe. The car will be mass-marketed globally from 2012 onwards.
LeasePlan will purchase more than 100 Nissan LEAF electric vehicles from Nissan and will offer them to its customers in thirteen countries in Europe, starting in early 2011 in line with Nissan's launch plans in those markets. The project will focus on driver behaviour and the operational side of running a fleet of zero-emission battery-powered cars.
The thirteen countries involved in the agreement are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
LeasePlan operates a fleet of more than 1.3 million vehicles globally and is therefore the ideal partner in innovative car solutions. LeasePlan's expertise on the fleet management value chain will provide Nissan with vital information for the future.
"We have done a great deal of research into potential usage patterns for Nissan LEAF, but there is nothing to beat the real-world experience. By exchanging data with industry leader LeasePlan, we will be better able to understand just how eV customers will use their cars," said Colin Dodge, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Commenting on the announcement, LeasePlan's CEO Vahid Daemi said: "This agreement with Nissan is a reflection of our drive for innovation in a changing car landscape and further proof of our corporate responsibility towards the environment. With the electric Nissan LEAF, we will be able to meet our customers' growing demand for more environmentally friendly modes of transportation."
With its compact, highly efficient lithium-ion batteries and powerful electric motor, the five-seater Nissan LEAF has a range of about 160 km (100 miles - LA4 mode) while a suitable quick charge system can restore up to 80 per cent of its battery power in just under 30 minutes. Instantly responsive acceleration is matched by a top speed of more than 140 km/h. Best of all, there are no tailpipe emissions, making the compact zero-emission family car the ideal mode of transport for crowded inner cities. Deliveries of the Nissan LEAF begin in Europe in the first quarter of 2011.
LeasePlan is a Dutch financial institution specialised in fleet management. Since its establishment in 1963, the company has experienced steady growth and now operates in 30 countries, managing around 1.3 million cars. As such, the company is the world leading provider of fleet management services. LeasePlan in total employs over 6,000 people. LeasePlan is owned by Volkswagen Bank GmbH (50%) and Fleet Investments B.V. (50%), an investment company owned by the German banker Friedrich von Metzler.
About Nissan in Europe
Nissan employs around 12,500 people in its European design, research and development, manufacturing, logistics, and sales and marketing operations. In calendar year 2009, the company sold 498,027 vehicles across 40 markets in Western and Eastern Europe including Russia. Furthermore, the company produced a total of 390,727 vehicles in its Spanish and British plants.
Nissan Zero Emission Website