Japanese car giant Nissan says its compact hatchback called Leaf has become the first electric car to exceed 400,000 in sales.
In an announcement Thursday, the business said the landmark figure had solidified the Leaf’s “leading role in the global shift toward more sustainable mobility.”
Since its launch in 2010, owners of the vehicle have, in total, driven over 10 billion kilometers. Nissan added that the number of Leaf cars sold since its launch was enough to have saved 3.8 million barrels of oil annually.
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The model was the bestselling electric vehicle in Europe last year, Nissan said.
Overall, 408,000 plug-in vehicle units were sold across Europe in 2018, according to analysis from EV-Volumes. In 2017, there were more than 3 million electric and plug-in hybrid cars on the planet’s roads, according to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global Electric Vehicles Outlook. This represents an increase of 54 percent compared to 2016.
Almost 580,000 electric cars were sold in China in 2017, according to the IEA, while around 280,000 were sold in the U.S.
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While electric vehicles are becoming the car of choice for an increasing number of drivers, they nevertheless face challenges, not least when it comes to perceptions surrounding range and charging infrastructure.
One of the current issues for EVs is ensuring there are enough charging stations for longer journeys to be completed. At present, for the U.S. as a whole, there are just under 21,000 public, Level 2 electric vehicle charging station locations. Level 2 refers to equipment that uses a 240 volt, alternating current plug.