2011 Nissan Leaf prototypeEnlarge Photo
A little less than four years ago, the first 2011 Nissan Leaf electric car was delivered to eager buyer Olivier Chalouhi in San Francisco.
Earlier this month, Nissan and its partner the French carmaker Renault delivered their 200,000th electric car.
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Collectively, those cars have driven roughly 2.5 billion million miles (4 billion million km) without adding any airborne emissions to the atmosphere from the vehicle.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance now claims a 58-percent share of the market for vehicles with no tailpipe emissions.
Nissan Leaf at Anyo-in Temple in Japan.Enlarge Photo
Of those sales, the Alliance says that 66,500 were logged from January through early November of this year--a 20-percent increase on 2013 levels.
Since December 2010, Nissan has sold just under 150,000 electric cars in the U.S., Asia, and Europe; Renault delivered the rest in Europe and other regions.
The Nissan Leaf is by far the best-selling electric car in history, and one of two current battery-electric vehicles from Nissan.
The other is the e-NV200 small commercial van, now being evaluated for sale in the U.S.
2013 Renault Zoe electric car (European model) at 2012 Paris Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Renault has offered four separate battery-electric models, with the highest sales coming from its Zoe subcompact hatchback and Kangoo ZE small delivery van.
It also sells the Twizy--which would be considered a low-speed electric vehicle in North America--and previously offered the Fluence ZE sedan as well.
The pace of sales has been far slower than projected by Carlos Ghosn, who acts as CEO of both automakers.
By this time, Nissan Leaf capacity was to be 250,000 cars per year: 150,000 in the U.S. and 50,000 each in Japan and the U.K.
2015 Nissan LeafEnlarge Photo
Instead, U.S. Leaf sales are on track to total roughly 30,000 this year--underscoring the many challenges of selling plug-in cars to conservative, skeptical, and uninformed car buyers.
The Alliance has partnered with a variety of governments, organizations, groups, and companies to continue the rollout of DC fast-charging stations across the globe.
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The U.S. now has more than 750 such CHAdeMO chargers, with a goal of 1,100 by mid-2015; Japan now has 2,900, with an aggressive goal of 6,000 by next spring.
Regardless of the pace, the gamble taken by the Renault-Nissan Alliance has clearly met one of its business goals: The two carmakers dominate the battery-electric vehicle business.