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Leaf: Nissan's blandest brand?

In a publicity response about as bland as Top Gear claim the Nissan Leaf actually is, Nissan communications chief Tom Barnard has hit back at Jeremy Clarkson's rant against the car in his Saturday column in the Sun, in which he slammed the range as 'boring'.

Complaining of 'inaccuracies' surrounding points made about the car's battery life, the ripost fell short of conviction and quite frankly lacked the courage to stand up to motormouth Clarkson and his team of middle-aged petrol headed car nuts.

'The presenters' suggestion that the Leaf battery would be scrap after three years is plain wrong,' Barnard wrote on the Nissan Insider website.

'Other than that part we actually quite liked the review. They said lots of good things about the Leaf. But other media – who love to hate Top Gear it seems – leapt on this and said we had been moaning about the whole feature.'

And to the criticism that they have only been able to find a fraction of homes for the vehicles since their launch earlier this year, Barnard wrote: 'There's a reason we feel passionately about the Leaf. We feel we need to be first with EV technology, even if it means we have to take a few punches at the beginning.

'People who are cleverer than me have looked at the very big picture. China recently overtook the US as the biggest car market in the world. And it's now the biggest consumer of oil.

'All of these cars currently run on petrol or diesel. It's fuel which we have been used to snaffling ourselves. But soon the global petrol station is going to have a very big queue.

'We'll be forced to find alternative ways of powering our cars. And nearly all the alternatives, from hybrids to fuel cells, use batteries and electric motors to some extent. Thankfully Nissan has already made massive investments in the technology, and will keep doing so.

'Hopefully, it will mean Nissan owners will be able to drive right past the queue in a car which doesn't feel like a compromise. And that's worth shouting about.'

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