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Nissan sells 300,000 Leafs in 7 years, remains king of EVs

The first affordable mass-market electric vehicle remains the world's most popular.

Despite looking a little silly when it came out, the Nissan Leaf has become the world's best-selling electric car, with more than 300,000 of them flying out of showrooms since 2010.

The Leaf made a name for itself by being the first truly affordable, mass-produced electric vehicle. At a time when other manufacturers were merely dipping toes into the water with somewhat hastily designed electric versions of gasoline-powered cars, the Leaf was something entirely new and different.

If you weren't a hardcore electric vehicle nerd in 2010, the Nissan Leaf seemed kind of silly. It was odd-looking, its range was less than stellar and it wasn't exactly super cheap, particularly when compared to any of the well-established hybrids. Over the years though, with more EVs hitting the market at nearly every price, the Leaf has become a much more attractive option, particularly for the first-time EV owner.

Over the past seven years, the Leaf has continued to sell well even in the face of much stiffer competition from companies such as Tesla, though in its price segment, the Leaf remains king. The 2018 model year sees the Leaf available with more tech and a bigger battery -- 40 kWh, up from the outgoing car's 30 kWh pack -- finally addressing people's biggest complaint about the car.

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