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Canada: Zero-emission Leaf gaining popularity

Nissan Canada president Allen Childs delivers an all-electric Leaf to Star publisher John Cruickshank. Wheels will be testing the vehicle for the next several weeks.

The zero-emission Nissan Leaf is the best selling all-electric car ever made.

Introduced in Canada last summer, the Leaf is growing in popularity and sales are increasing. About 240 were sold here by the end of March, and Nissan predicts more than 600 will be on our roads by the end of this year.

More than 22,000 are currently being driven worldwide — quite amazing for an electric vehicle that was launched just over a year ago.

Toronto Star Wheels launched a six-month open test of electric vehicles today and Nissan Canada was kind enough to let us borrow an all-electric Leaf as one of the cars to examine. As well as Wheels writers and editors putting the cars through their paces, readers are urged to make suggestions for tests at wheels@thestar.ca.

More: Follow our blog of the 6-month test

More: Wheels launches Project Green

The Leaf was named the 2011 World Car of the Year at the New York auto show and praised as the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its class for 2012 by Natural Resources Canada.

It is also the first 100-per-cent electric vehicle to earn five stars from the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

The four-door hatchback can accommodate five passengers. Models sold in Canada, which start at about $38,000, come with heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, heated outside mirrors and a battery warmer.

Customers in Ontario and Quebec are eligible for a provincial rebate of $8,500 and $8,000, respectively, toward the cost of a Nissan Leaf.
More thestar.com

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