The Nissan Leaf enjoyed a 33% year-on-year increase in European sales in 2014, taking more than a quarter (26%) of the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market with 14,658 sales.

This means that it has now has topped the zero-emission sales charts in Europe for the last four years.

Based on sales between January and December 2014, the top five European EVs are:

1. Nissan Leaf, 14,658 sales volume, 26% market share;
2. Renault Zoe, 11,227, 20%;
3. Tesla Model S, 8,734, 15%;
4. BMW i3, 5,804, 10%;
5. Volkswagen e- Up!, 5,365, 10%.

In the UK the situation is even rosier for Nissan. The Leaf enjoyed sales of 4,051, more than doubling the volume sold in 2013 (1,812). The British-built EV controls 55% of the pure EV market and outsells its nearest competitor by more than 2:1.

Guillaume Cartier, Nissan Europe senior vice president of sales and marketing, said: “We can now see the impact that word of mouth is having on our sales, with 95% of our customers happy to recommend their car to a friend and 50% saying they would never go back to diesel or petrol.

“This kind of powerful advocacy, combined with an increasing awareness of the massive running cost savings electric car driver’s experience, is why our Nissan Leaf sales continue to grow.”

“Data from our CarWings telematics system* shows us that Nissan LEAF drivers drive 40% more kilometres than the European average for petrol or diesel cars, covering over 16,500 km per year.

“This data demonstrates that this car is the primary car for many households and that is changing the consumer perception of electric cars.”