Europe Leaf flutters to 10 000
10 000TH CUSTOMER: Michelle Lailler has become Europe's 10 000th Nissn Leaf customer. She picked up her car from a dealer near Paris. Demand for electric cars is growing rapidly across the region. Image: Newspress
PARIS, France - A nurse from Paris has become the 10 000th Nissan Leaf customer in Europe, supporting the ground-breaking zero-emissions car's status as the best-selling electric vehicle.
Michelle Lailler bought the 100% electric car after being impressed on the test drive: "I bought the car because its low running costs really make sense for my work. I needed a proper family car and I wanted a zero-emissions vehicle to replace my diesel hatchback – the Leaf was the best choice.
“My family was reluctant to get an electric vehicle but after the test drive my husband told me he wanted it to drive to work. He won't get the keys from me easily!"
PEACE OF MIND
She continued: "As a nurse I know the effect that the poor air quality in Paris has on people, so it makes me feel good to know that by driving an electric car I am not adding to that. I will mostly be using it for work, driving between patients, but I am also looking forward to taking it on the Autotrain to the south of France with my family for our holiday in the summer."
The Leaf went on sale in Europe in March 2011 to only a handful of dealers but since demand for electric vehicles has increased the cars have become available across the region.
Nissan Europe director of electric vehicles, Jean-Pierre Diernaz, was delighted with the five-digit number: "This is an important moment for electric cars in Europe and comes at a time where we are seeing a sales momentum building for the Leaf across the region.
“In March we sold more than 1000 Leafs, the best month since the car was launched. In April we were the second best-selling car overall in Norway.
"We are seeing a shift in attitudes to electric mobility, with more people buying electric cars and the infrastructure developing at an ever increasing rate.
“We've hit this landmark just as we prepare to introduce the new European-manufactured Leaf with more than 100 improvements into the market."
The updated model is being built at a Nissan UK factory and will go on sale across Europe in June, with changes and upgrades inspired by customer feedback.