Nissan celebrates having the world's bestselling EV by marking the 50,000-unit production milestone in the U.K.

While not as glamorous as the Tesla Model S, the Nissan Leaf is the world’s bestselling electric vehicle, and the hatchback now celebrates 50,000 of them leaving the Japanese brand’s Sunderland Plant in the U.K. The milestone marks the first time in Europe an automaker has built so many EVs and the batteries for them. The 50,000th Leaf from Sunderland was a Tekna trim example in silver, and it went to a customer in France.

The U.K factory began building the Leaf in 2013. Today, it exports them to 23 markets, mostly in Western Europe but also to Argentina, Israel, and Taiwan.

Nissan has worked to keep the Leaf fresh since its launch. One of the biggest upgrades just arrived for the 2016 model year when the company introduced a 30 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery for higher trim level models. On the European testing cycle the larger-output offers a 155-mile (250-kilometer) range, and the different evaluation from Environmental Protection Agency in the US estimates 107 miles (172 km) of driving distance.

The production milestone also happened close to the introduction of the second-generation Leaf. Nissan teased the futuristic shape as a concept at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and Carlos Ghosn has hinted at a 249-mile (400 km) range. If accurate, that would make the new model a closer competitor to the forthcoming Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. Look out for Nissan to unveil the next Leaf very late this year or in early 2017.

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