Here's the good news, first: The Nissan Leaf surpassed 100,000 units of cumulative sales in the US last month. Also good news is that Leaf sales were up 14 percent from a year earlier. The bad news is that year-to-date sales for the electric vehicle are still down 28 percent.

Since its US debut in late 2010, Nissan has sold 100,241 units of the Leaf domestically, Hybrid Cars says. The US is by far the Leaf's largest overall market, as the model has moved about 239,000 units globally. Japan has accounted for almost 70,000 Leafs sold, while about 63,000 have been sold in Europe.

With Leaf sales starting to taper off last year, October proved to be a relatively good month, as the 1,412 Leafs sold represented a 14-percent increase from a year earlier. Through October, though, Leaf sales fell 28 percent from a year earlier to 10,650 units. Additionally, the Chevrolet Volt has leapfrogged the Leaf to become the best-selling plug-in vehicle in the US. The Volt blew past the 100,000-vehicle mark in July, and has now moved more than 107,000 units.

The issue is that the Leaf is overdue for a generational upgrade. Granted, the 2017 model dispenses with the 24-kilowatt-hour battery-pack option, so that all Leaf vehicles come with 30-kWh packs with a 107-mile single-charge range. With the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3 on the way, however, the magic number is 200 when it comes to single-charge range figures.

Kazuo Yajima, Nissan's global director of EV and HEV engineering, said this summer that the Leaf would get a 60-kWh battery pack that would provide that 200-mile single-charge range. He just didn't say when.

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