Sometimes we wonder what's in a name. Why name a vehicle a Prius rather than an Insight, or why a Focus over a Rabbit. Most name choices make little sense, but Nissan wanted a name for their new EV that had significance. They wanted a single name that accurately portrayed the mission of the vehicle. They choose to name it LEAF.
Out of all of the available names for this new EV, why would Nissan decide on the seemingly simply name of LEAF. They have their reasons and the name truly speaks volume about the cars intent and mission.
According to Nissan the LEAF name is a statement about the car itself. As leaves on growing trees in nature purify the air that we breathe, the Nissan LEAF purifies our air by eliminating emissions from the driving experience.
Additionally, leaves are associated with other hybrid and green vehicles such as the Ford Fusion Hybrid. In advanced vehicles, leaves seem to play a significant role. In the real world, leaves are often associated with "green" thinking and environmentally friendly products.
Though the LEAF name may not be entirely original on behalf of Nissan, it does as Nissan states, accurately represent the goal of the vehicle.
A world full of zero emission vehicles would purify the air we breathe, but for now until the widespread adoption of EVs occurs, we will have to leave the air purifying to the leaves on the trees.
So what's in a name, for Nissan everything about the vehicles importance is contained within a single 4 letter name, LEAF.