Some consider the launch of the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf in the end of 2010 as the beginning of the Modern Age of the Electric Car, the third of its kind, but let's not forget that before them there were already pioneers paving the way for those two headline-friendly vehicles.
In 2008 the electric car output was measured in the few hundreds, there was still a small range of electric vehicles to choose from and sales information were even more scarce, but nevertheless, here's a TOP3 ranking, just to get an idea of what was like then.
Best-selling electric cars in '08
1. Think City - 330 units;
2. Buddy EV - 250 units;
3. Tesla Roadster - 120 units.
As one can see, small numbers, but this was the year that began the Tesla journey, with the Roadster being delivered to their first customers.
The next year had two major additions, the Mitsubishi I-Miev and the lease-only Mini E, both gave visibility to the electric car and helped the number of electric cars to grow significantly, as shown in this TOP5 below.
Best-selling electric cars in '09
1. Mitsubishi I-Miev - 852 units;
2. Tesla Roadster - 604 units;
3. Mini E - 590 units;
4. Buddy EV - 370 units;
5. Think City - 300 units.
Although these numbers can now be seen as small, they were tripling
the number of sales regarding 2008 and the ranking was now starting to look a contemporary one, with highway-capable vehicles that could be used just like every other car, although 3 of them were still 2 seater cars...
then modern Mitsubishi I-Miev debuted in Japan and took over the global sales ranking right away, followed by the Roadster, now in full swing, and by the lease-only Mini E in third.