Green is really in style with drivers all around the world right now. Many are moving to green vehicles like full EVs and hybrids to save at the pump and reduce pollution.
When it comes to hybrids, the most popular is the Prius by far. But one of the most popular pure electric vehicles is the new Nissan Leaf.
Sure, Nissan's Leaf has experienced its share of issues since the vehicle launched in limited areas (shorter than expected driving range, for instance), but sales are still quite decent.
For example, Nissan has confirmed that for 2011, it fell only a few hundred units short of meeting its goal of 10,000 sold.
That 10,000 sold mark was met this month with the magic number being delivered at some point this week. Nissan is selling the Leaf globally, and worldwide sales are well over 20,000 units.
"From a Leaf perspective, 2011 was a great year and very positive for the company," explained Nissan exec Brendan Jones.
"[10,000 sales] is more EVs than have been sold in the United States - and 20,000 globally - than all the other OEMs combined throughout the world. So that's an outstanding achievement."
If you look at the sales of other green cars, the 10,000 number doesn't sound like much. For instance, the Prius V wagon sold slightly under than 8,400 units in ten weeks. However, the Leaf numbers are impressive when you consider it is the first mass produced electric car that has no generator or gasoline engine to hit that sales number.
Of course, there are some downsides to the Leaf, and any other EV for that matter. The driving range greatly varies depending on the environment and driving style. For example, the normal mileage rating for the Leaf - according to both the EPA and Nissan - is right at 100 miles per charge. In the sweltering Texas heat, my local dealer tells prospective Leaf buyers to expect about 50 miles per charge.
That is a very short driving range for a vehicle selling at $35,200 MSRP. Then again, the Leaf was one of the only pure electric games in town last year. In 2013, Ford also has a pure EV rolling out so we will be watching to see how the competition goes.