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This week Nissan‘s UK subsidiary handed the keys of one of its Leaf Electric cars to London Mayor Boris Johnson.
The ceremony was part of a pilot program, initiated by Transport for London which will use the car on a trial basis for approximately one month, to determine the effectiveness of electric cars in city driving. Johnson has already pledged that London will become the ‘electric vehicle’ of Europe and a plan is in place to set up a network of some 1300 electric charging stations throughout the city by 2013.
At the handing over ceremony, Johnson remarked “I am pleased to accept a Nissan Leaf on Transport for London’s behalf so more of our staff can experience the silent, smooth electric experience for themselves, whilst carrying out their duties. We are looking forward to Nissan becoming one of our fantastic Source London partners helping us to make electric driving an easier, more convenient choice.”
The Leaf will join an existing fleet of electric vehicles currently operated by Transport for London and will be used primarily by Surface Transportation staff to inspect traffic signals and cameras.
The Leaf is currently one of the most talked about cars in the media and having already won the coveted European car of the Year award as well as the 2011 World Car of the Year honor.
Nissan‘s Cube has had a lukewarm reception outside its home market of Japan, and sales have been so poor in Europe that Nissan has decided to axe the vehicle entirely.
Nissan is citing exchange rate issues between the yen and the euro as the underlying cause, but the dismal sales are likely an equal culprit in the company’s decision.
Nissan dealers are apparently sold out of the car, save for a few outlets in central London.