This first group of 2011 Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) to reach Portuguese shores brought just 10 vehicles to the country with 9 of them destined for the Portuguese electric mobility consortium “MOBI.E”. After handing the keys of the 9 2011 Nissan Leaf electric vehicles, the ceremony continued with Portugal’s Prime Minister José Sócrates accepting the keys to the 10th Leaf on the behalf of the government. Nissan states that this unit will be used for “test drive purposes” ahead of the consumer launch of the 2011 Leaf early in the first quarter of 2011.
Prime Minister Sócrates had this to say about the Leaf coming to Portugal:
"We are extremely pleased to be introducing the electric vehicle in Portugal. After 3 years of collaborative work between the Government, public entities, the corporate consortium which developed the MOBI.E solution and Nissan, we have achieved the first smart, built-in charging network on a national scope, therefore we are the first country to welcome electric vehicles. By combining in a pioneer manner our commitment to renewable energies, the implementation of the smart charging network and the introduction of electric vehicles, Portugal will be in the lead of the transition to a more sustainable future."
The Nissan Leaf has some hot competition in the US market in the form of the 2011 Chevy Volt but with General Motors’ range-extended electric sedan not being available in Europe yet, the Leaf is free to rule the European market without any opposition. The 2011 Nissan Leaf was named the European Car of the Year and with 100% emission-free driving, the Leaf offers something that no other car in that price range can. The Tesla Roadster is available in Europe but with a price around 99,000€ (around $103k, USD) the sporty Roadster doesn’t offer the cost effectiveness or functionality of the Leaf.