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Americans are buying plug-in vehicles during their first four years of mass production at more than twice the rate of hybrid sales 15 years ago.

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Nissan appears more than ready to take on a possible challenge to the success of the Leaf by a production version of the Chevrolet Volt Concept. The Japanese brand is reportedly developing a high-output version of its future EV hatch that could drive 200 miles or more. The huge increase in range is thanks to the latest developments in battery technology that allow for less weight and higher power densities.

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Nissan and NASA have announced a collaboration on autonomous drive systems, human-machine interfaces, network-enabled applications, and software analysis and verification. Nissan wants to offer such features by 2016, and fully autonomous cars by 2020.

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Annual Totals: 18,805 Volts And 30,200 Leafs

To close out the year, sales of the two most-popular plug-in vehicles in the US kept going in the direction that they had been all year. The Chevy Volt dropped and the Nissan Leaf had another record month.

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At some point in 2015, most likely in the first three months, cumulative sales of the Nissan Leaf will finally reach a higher number than those for the Chevy Volt.

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California EV Company Hits One Billion Kilometer Milestone 1.5 Years Earlier

Just a few weeks ago, Nissan announced that its customers have driven over a billion electric kilometers in the four years that the world's best-selling EV has been on the road. That heady milestone means, Nissan says, that the Leaf has saved 180 million kilograms of CO2 emissions around the world.

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That loop of highways circumnavigating the city of Atlanta is about to get some fast chargers. And, for those driving newer Nissan Leaf electric vehicles, some free chargers as well, for the next couple of years. It's the new taste of southern hospitality.

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Football, Rachel Maddow Fans Among Most Engaged By 'Kick Gas'

With 22 months of record Leaf sales under its zero-emission belt, Nissan has started two big ad campaigns for the battery-powered Leaf. On TV, there's the Kick Gas campaign (it's a popular name) and on social media, Nissan is promoting the EV as the "world's cleanest car" (it's a paint thing). We don't know how much the paint prank is costing, but we do have some estimated numbers for the TV ads.

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Challenges Remain For Plug In Drivers

Think that owning and driving a plug-in vehicle in green-centric San Francisco is easy? You should probably think again. That's because a lot of other residents already have the same idea, and there aren't enough charging stations to keep up. A classic First World problem, for sure, but a problem nevertheless for at least one EV driver.

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The Tesla Model S might be the headline-grabber of the electric vehicle world, but the Nissan Leaf is the segment's secret star. With over 130,000 sold worldwide since its introduction and record US sales in 2014, the little hatchback has helped its parents at the Renault-Nissan Alliance to sell over 200,000 EVs since 2010.

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For 2014, Leaf Beating Volt By 10,000 Units

When you talk to people in the plug-in vehicle industry, one theme you hear repeatedly is that the more plug-in cars that are out there, the better things are for everyone. One reason is that more EVs build a need for more public chargers, and more chargers mean more people see that plugging in is feasible. But there's still something to be said for old-fashioned competition, and in the sales race between the two long-running plug-in vehicles in the US, the Nissan Leaf is resoundingly beating th

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Most Of Those Are Due To Popular Leaf, Which Has Sold 67,000 In US

The all-electric Renault Zoe sold 10,000 units during its first year on sale and the French automaker has sold a total of about 51,500 EVs since starting sales of its four-vehicle EV lineup in 2011. Renault's collection also includes the Twizy two-seater, the Fluence sedan and the Kangoo van – just look at the awesome concepts from 2009 in the gallery above. Throw in the fact that the Nissan Leaf has sold around 150,000 around the world and some sales of the e-NV200 delivery van, and we ge

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Call it Keeping up with the Hansens. Through a combination of environmental consciousness, big-time government incentives and good old-fashioned peer pressure, Norway has become the country with the highest number of electric vehicles per capita. And Nissan couldn't be happier.

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Nissan Has Now Sold More EVs In A Single Year Than Anyone, Ever In US

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Leaf Could Hit 30,000 Sales This Year

Nissan has sold more pure EVs in the US this year than any other automaker, ever. And there are still two selling months left.

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Average Policy Savings Are $200

Coverhound Insurance has sold around 20,000 auto policies, and that's been enough for the online comparison-shopping site to notice an EV-friendly trend: electric vehicles are cheaper to insure. An average of $200 cheaper, in fact, according to CoverHound CEO Keith Moore.

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California Start-Up Keeping Up With Nissan and Leaf Sales

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 i

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