As we approach the waning days of 2009, it's time for everyone to compile their lists of best and worst of this and that for the year. Time magazine is no exception to this grand tradition and typically publishes many such lists every year including top inventions. Among its list of 50 most important inventions of 2009 is the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf was unveiled in August as the first new dedicated electric vehicle from the Japanese automaker. The Leaf is important not just because of its powertrain, but because Nissan intends for it to be mass produced and sold globally at a reasonable price.
The Leaf isn't the only environmentally friendly transport on the list. The WorldFirst Formula 3 race car was developed at the University of Warwick in England with the use of bio-materials in some of its components. The steering wheel contains carrot fibers and the mirrors use potato starch while the engine runs on chocolate and vegetable biodiesel. Finally, the Honda U3-X personal mobility device also got on the list.