THE electric revolution has reached a milestone with news that the 100,000th Nissan Leaf has hit the roads.
Nissan has announced the Wearside-made model has become the best-selling electric car, with a 45 per cent share of the market.
Since the car’s launch in December 2010, the pace of sales has increased, with 2013 hailed as a record year.
The Leaf, which is available to buy in 35 countries on four continents, went into production at the company’s Sunderland plant in March.
Together, the battery plant and Leaf production line support jobs for more than 2,000 people in the UK car industry, including more than 500 at Nissan.
Guillaume Cartier, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nissan Europe, said: “For such a revolutionary car, to achieve this sales milestone in such a short space of time is a major achievement.
“Don’t forget that when Nissan Leaf was launched in 2010, the charging infrastructure was in its infancy.
“But that didn’t deter the pioneers who immediately appreciated the benefits of a purpose-designed electric vehicle.
“Three years on, many are already on their second Nissan Leaf.
“Today, meanwhile, many cities have growing networks of quick chargers and this is helping accelerate sales of the multi-award winning Leaf.”
To celebrate the sales achievement, Nissan has produced a unique version of the car with 100,000 very special optional extras, representing each sale.
The car’s paintwork is covered in 50,000 2p coins and 50,000 two cent Euro coins to reflect how cost efficient the car is to run - just 2p per mile and less than 0.02 per kilometre.
Creating the coined-covered Leaf, which is also assembled at plants in Japan and the U.S took a specialist team of three people a full seven days to complete.
Mr Cartier added: “Nissan Leaf is a pioneer in every sense and over the last three years has done a great deal to change attitudes towards electric vehicles. Indeed, some of the best Nissan Leaf salespeople are our highly satisfied owners who praise the car whenever they can.
“We are confident the next 100,000 global sales will come even quicker.”
The 100,000th Nissan Leaf customer was Dr Brett Garner, the owner of a dental practice in Fareham in Hampshire.
Today, the Sunderland plant will celebrate as the first of the new-design Qashqais roll off its production line.
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