Electric vehicles are still considered a risky strategy in the business world, with relatively low sales numbers not enough to convince skeptics of their business case.

Nissan has had plenty of recognition for its commitment to the Leaf though, including a high ranking in the latest Interbrand 'Best Global Green Brands' report.

The company finished fifth, its first top ten appearance and a leap of 16 places from last year giving it a "top riser" ranking too. The reason? Nissan's recognized leadership in zero emissions mobility with the Leaf electric car.

As Nissan reports, the company has sold over 65,000 Leafs worldwide since its late 2010 launch in some markets, making it the best-selling electric car in history. The recent introduction of European and U.S-built models is having a positive effect on sales, too.

That hasn't gone unnoticed, and as electric cars go the Leaf is becoming a familiar name, if not yet a familiar sight in every locale.

2013 Nissan Leaf: Driven Through Tennessee Countryside

Interbrand's report ranks brands based on a company's environmental practices and customer perceptions--and it's hard to argue that many customers will now associate Nissan with electric vehicles.

The report says the Leaf has had a positive impression on the Nissan brand, and gained commendation for Nissan's commitment to cut vehicle weight and its collaboration with Ford and Daimler on fuel cell vehicle development.

Nissan says it "aims to contribute proactively to the sustainable development of mobility and society while seeking profitable growth".

With electric cars at the forefront that won't be easy--and many will still see it as a business risk--but with cars like the Leaf as its figurehead vehicles, Nissan's reputation as a green brand will only improve.

Has your perception of Nissan improved since the Leaf debuted? Let us know below.


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