• 50,000 Nissan Leaf sales officially recorded in U.S.
  • Milestone Leaf sold to a couple in Dallas, Texas
  • Leaf is the most popular electric vehicle in the world

Nissan has officially sold 50,000 units of its all-electric Leaf hatchback in the United States. The automaker recently announced the milestone figure, celebrating the 50,000th sale less than four years after the Leaf first went on sale in late 2010.

According to Nissan, the 50,000th Leaf was officially delivered in May to a customer at AutoNation Nissan in Lewisville, Texas, near Dallas -- a city that the automaker calls a hot-growth market for electric vehicles. The milestone Leaf, a black SL-trimmed model, was sold to Dallas residents Todd and Lisa Bolt, who remarked that they were so happy with the Leaf that "we don't know why we'd buy another gas car."

Interestingly, the 50,000th Leaf sale in the United States comes only a few months after the automaker recorded its 100,000th global sale of the fully electric hatchback. Nissan hit that milestone back in January, with the 100,000th vehicle going to a customer in the United Kingdom. Now, five months later, Nissan says it's sold around 115,000 Leaf models across the world.

With those kinds of sales figures, the Nissan Leaf is easily the world's best-selling electric vehicle. That's no surprise when you consider the hatchback's numbers: In addition to seating for five and a base price of around $30,000, it offers an 84-mile fully electric range. The Leaf can also be fully recharged in roughly five hours with its newly available 6.6-kilowatt on-board charger, or eight hours with the standard 3.6-kW charger.

Among the Leaf's chief rivals are the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid with a starting price of around $35,000 and a 35-mile fully electric range, and the Ford Focus Electric, a fully electric hatchback that can travel around 76 miles between charges.

What it means to you: The Nissan Leaf is the most popular EV in the United States -- and in the world.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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