Remember the Freedom Drive, where a solitary 2011 Chevy Volt made its way from Texas to New York to publicize the extended-range electric vehicle’s launch?

Finishing on Independence Day with a massive fireworks display, the tour gave out T-Shirts and offered test-drives to potential customers en-route. 

Ever since then we’ve been waiting to see what Nissan, makers of the rival 2011 all-electric Leaf would do in response. And now we know. 

Starting October 1, the Drive Electric Tour will make its way around the U.S. with a roadshow worthy of any superstar. 

And it’s not just T-shirts being given away. Nissan America Inc. will be giving a 2011 Nissan Leaf away in a social-media driven online competition. 

Along with the announcement came the news that Nissan have now received 20,000 orders for the 2011 Leaf in the U.S. This milestone has been achieved 3 months ahead of Nissan’s own schedule and means that for a while at least, no more orders are being taken. 

Kicking off at the AltCar Expo in Santa Monica, the Drive Electric Tour will offer potential customers the chance to drive the 2011 Leaf around a pre-determined course. As with previous test drives, a Nissan representative will accompany drivers to answer questions and provide an insight into the Leaf’s on-board technology. 

As part of the tour, Nissan representatives will explore the issues surrounding the Leaf, including history of EVs, keeping track of the Leaf’s power consumption, environmental impact of the car and how it feels a 100 mile range is more than most consumers will need. 


Win A Nissan Leaf- Screenshot

Win A Nissan Leaf- Screenshot

To enter to win a Nissan Leaf, visitors to the site and the tour are being asked to create a video detailing why they should win a Nissan Leaf. Contestants’ videos will then be uploaded to the Internet and voted on. 

Like a crossover between social media and a TV talent show, the winner will be the person whose video receives the most votes via Twitter and Facebook. 


Moving on from California, the tour will move through Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Washington DC before finishing in Nashville in March next year. 

What about the other states? At the moment, Nissan is focusing its attentions to these key markets and as time progresses, more markets will be explored. 

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf

For now though it looks as if anyone within the hearlands of America will have to travel to get a test-drive of Nissan’s all electric family hatchback. 

Interestingly, we’ve noticed that Nissan has avoided many states with cold winter temperatures. This may be coincidental, but perhaps Nissan feels the Leaf is better suited to markets in more temperate states. 

To book your test-drive as part of the Drive Electric Tour, head to Nissan’s website. We’ve been lucky enough to drive the Leaf several times now and love its clean design, smooth acceleration and sure-footed handling.