When it was launched, Nissan LEAF was the world's first purpose-designed electric vehicle from a major manufacturer. It was a roomy family car aimed at customers who mainly used their car as their daily driver for local trips - shopping or commuting - and who wanted to make a contribution to improving air quality in their home towns.
But that hasn't stopped LEAF taking on some very different roles...
Nissan LEAF is fast becoming a familiar sight on taxi ranks right across Europe. One of the first cities to embrace the benefits of non-polluting taxis was Amsterdam where the Taxi-E company is running a fleet of 13 Nissan LEAFs. Their fleet has covered more than 700,000 km and although they have had a couple of flat tyres, they have never had a flat battery.
The latest city to join the green taxi revolution is Zurich where a Green Taxi Initiative has been establish by a group of young Swiss entrepreneurs. They form part of the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community with a desire to serve society and improve local communities.
Initially ten Nissan LEAF taxis will operate in the city with a further ten joining the scheme midway through the year. By 2015, it is envisaged that 15 per cent of the Zurich Taxi fleet will be electric and that the city will have an extensive network of fast chargers capable of replenishing a battery from 30 to 80 per cent capacity in just 15 minutes.
Nissan LEAF is also proving to be the ideal car in which to learn to drive, with drivers of the future getting a taste of the car of the future. Driving instructor Paul Tomalin has taken delivery of a pure electric Nissan LEAF, becoming the first in the UK to use an EV to teach learners how to drive.
Paul chose the LEAF as he wanted a more environmentally friendly car in which to teach his pupils. But the fact that he'll save upwards of €3,250 a year in fuel bills might also have had something to do with his decision.
Paul, who's been an instructor for 14 years, reckons he covers around 40,000 kms a year. He charges the car overnight for his morning lessons and then uses a quick charger over lunch so he can take another couple of lessons in the afternoon.
"Pupils love the LEAF and the success they have had passing the test underlines what an easy car it is to drive," he said.
Paul isn't the first driving instructor to use a LEAF, however. Over in Norway, the Oslo-based ABC Trafikkskole used their LEAF to help young mum Solveig Marie Ødegård pass her test first time... but the remarkable thing is that Solveig Marie has never driven a car powered by a conventional engine in her entire life.
Car Clubs are becoming increasingly popular across Europe as they give members the flexibility of owning a car but with few of the costs: no need to buy or lease a car or insure, repair or maintain it. The club even keeps it clean and topped up with fuel.
Until now, car clubs in the UK have provided conventional petrol or diesel-powered cars. But now the E-Car Club has been born and offers only electric vehicles. The first site is in Milton Keynes, close to the Nissan Technical Centre, with a second to open soon in Oxford.
It works very simply. There's a one-off joining fee after which a Nissan LEAF can be hired by the hour or by the day, while regular users can pay a monthly subscription and enjoy discounts on rental charges.
Once booked, the member simply arrives at where the car is parked, swipes a smart card to gain access, unplugs the car from the charger, taps in a security code and then drives away. Once he or she has finished, they simply return the car to its parking bay and plug it back in for the next user. They'll be charged only for the time used.
Meanwhile the Portuguese police have a new tactic for catching people braking the law, stealth, to achieve this they have taken delivery of eight Nissan LEAF electric vehicles.
The cars, which have flashing blue lights and clear ‘Policia' markings, will be used by Portugal's PSP (Policia de Segurança) urban security force mainly as part of its Safe Schools Programme.
But if the need arises, they can be called into action just like any other police car on the force... and their near-silent running means that Portuguese criminals won't hear them coming. PSP chose Nissan LEAF to help reduce its carbon footprint and reduce pollution in large urban centres.
In Milan, Italy, Nissan has teamed up with rental company Hertz to promote the benefits of zero-emission mobility in the city. Four Nissan LEAFs are available to rent from the Hertz office close to the main railway station in the city centre.
Rental customers will enjoy free parking in the city and are also permitted to drive in areas of Milan denied to conventional cars.
Long distance travel is not an issue for Nissan LEAF owners based in Paris who want to take their car on holiday to the south of France. A special deal with national train company SNFC means they can take their car down to the sun on the train at extremely preferential rates.
Even better, CHAdeMO quick chargers have been installed at the Paris-Bercy SCNF Auto/Train station allowing owners to top up their batteries before boarding the train thus ensuring they can continue their journey the instant the train docks at the other end.
And finally the UK's greenest football team - Conference League's Forest Green Rovers from Gloucestershire - has just taken delivery of 11 Nissan LEAFs to maintain its environmental record.
The LEAFs join a club which uses electricity generated by solar panels around its ground, and which uses a rainwater irrigation system to maintain its pitch.
The cars will be used the players and team manager who between clock up almost 640,000 kms just travelling to and from training sessions. It is anticipated that the new fleet will cut the team's carbon emissions by as much as 80 per cent. The car will be recharged using renewable energy and the quick charger installed at the club can also be used by fans.