• LEAF costs just £1.83 to complete the 60-mile Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge route
  • Independent results show LEAF as being twice as energy efficient as its closest rivals
  • Future Car Challenge enables motorists to compare power train efficiency on an equal basis

The 100% electric Nissan LEAF won two major awards at the recent 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge (FCC) which reinforces independently how energy efficient the car is when competing with rival petrol, diesel and hybrid engines.


Competing against 49 other cars, the Nissan LEAF won ‘The Best Overall Vehicle on Sale at Time of Event’ at the FCC from Brighton to London for its miserly energy use, as well as the ‘Most Energy Efficient Regular Production Car’.

According to the boffins in low emission vehicle research at London’s Imperial College, who worked out the comparative energy use of all competitors across all power sources, the Nissan LEAF costs just £1.83 to travel the 60-mile route.

This compared favourably with the best performing petrol, diesel and hybrid engines on the run which used £7.08, £5.70 and £4.00* of energy respectively, making the Nissan LEAF the clear winner. That makes the Nissan LEAF more than twice as cost efficient as its nearest rivals.


“At the outset we predicted that 100% electric cars would use around £1.60 worth of energy to cover the 60-mile route and we weren’t far off,” explained Dr Ricardo Martinez-Botas from Imperial College London’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and one of the Challenge’s technical judges.

“By comparing all of these new technologies on an equal basis it gives consumers and companies a chance to decide which one best suits their individual motoring needs,” he added.

The methodology to evaluate energy use was achieved by fitting all the cars with data loggers and using sensor technology, developed by researchers from Imperial’s Centre for Transport Studies.

“Putting the LEAF’s energy consumption into perspective with other power sources was a very useful exercise and one that showed how efficient a 100% electric vehicle can be,” said Jerry Hardcastle, Vice President, Vehicle Design and Development at Nissan Technical Centre Europe.

“It is further proof that electric power has its part to play in the global motor industry’s aim to drive down CO2 emissions,” Hardcastle added.