According to numbers crunched over at Hybrid Cars, the Tesla Model S was the best selling pure electric vehicle last year with 50,366 deliveries. These numbers might not tell the whole story, since Tesla reports deliveries made in 2015 that might have been sold in a different calendar year, while other makers are tallying sales.

However, it's inarguable that the Model S ended up in more worldwide driveways than the second-place Nissan Leaf, which did about 43,000 sales. In the US alone, Leaf sales were down 42.8 percent year-on-year, from 30,200 in 2014 to 17,269 last year, and that decline also increased throughout the year.

That marks a great finish to a great start to 2015, when Tesla took the lead in EV sales in the US for the first quarter. On top of that, as of last year the Model S becomes the second-best selling EV ever, with 107,148 deliveries since the middle of 2012. It trails the Nissan Leaf, with well over 200,000 worldwide sales. The Chevrolet Volt/Opel Ampera combo takes a close third, with about 106,000 sales. The Nissan and Chevy rivals both launched at the end of 2010, a 16-month head start on the Tesla.

Down the charts, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV which continues to be forbidden fruit for our market notched 39,000 sales. The BYD Qin PHEV sold 31,898 examples in China, and BYD would take the overall victory from Tesla with 58,728 deliveries if you counted all of its EV and PHEV production, such as its electric buses. The BMW i3 nabbed fourth place with 24,057 global sales. In 2011 the Munich automaker said it wanted to sell 30,000 i3s annually by 2014, but by the time the car launched the company considered 15,000 annual sales 'great for now,' so the 2015 number seems a fine place to wind up.

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