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Nissan sold its 50,000th Leaf a total of two years and two months after introducing the EV to dealerships. Tesla isn't as established as Nissan, and its Model S - with its higher levels of luxury and performance - costs multiple times more than the Leaf. Consider the Tesla's starting price of $70,000-plus (and easily much more with a bigger battery and a few upgrades), and compare that to the Leaf's base MSRP of just a bit over $30,000 before its 2013 price cut. It would make sense, then, that it would take the Model S longer to hit 50,000 unit sales.

But, no. The Model S could meet the 50,000 sales milestone before the end of October (in fact, it may already have done so). This is just two years and three months after it launched in late June 2012.

The Model S could meet the 50,000 sales milestone before the end of October.

Tesla hasn't released its sales report for the third quarter, but the Palo Alto-based automaker sold 39,128 units of the Model S through June. Previously, Tesla estimated it would have 7,800 third quarter sales (putting it at 46,928 through September), other independent estimates put Tesla at 50,000 sales in late October. The Model S may not have beat the Nissan Leaf to 50K, but it's not hard to see how this is a win for the California automaker.

Arguably, this is a case where we all win. Anytime some buys an EV instead of a traditionally powered vehicle - regardless of marque - that's less energy consumed while driving, fewer emissions and an example set to others who have yet to make the switch. It's hard not to be impressed by Tesla's relative success. Furthermore, Tesla coming so close to Nissan in selling 50,000 EVs is, above all, a testament to the desirability of the Model S, despite the Leaf's clear advantage in terms of attainability.


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