A CAR MAKER has hit an electric vehicle milestone.

Nissan says UK sales of its all-electric Leaf hatchback have passed the 10,000 mark.

The Sunderland-based company said it sold 2,964 sales in the first half of the year, a 68.4 per cent increase on the same period last year, taking its overall number to 10,161.

Figures previously revealed the car was also the most popular battery-powered model across Europe last year, ahead of various rivals, including the Renault Zoe.

The Leaf was launched in 2011 before being revised in 2013, when production started at Nissan’s Wearside factory, to build the model for the European market.

James Wright, Nissan Motor’s Great Britain managing director, said: “The UK’s electric vehicle market is growing at an extraordinary pace and while it may be too early to talk about tipping points, this achievement certainly indicates we're well on our way.”

The Leaf is made on the same production line as Nissan’s ever-popular Qashqai, with one in every ten cars rolling off an electric one.

Its batteries are also made on the site, with many shipped to the Japanese firm’s Barcelona factory for use in the company’s electric van.

The firm is also finalising an extension of its Sunderland plant to start work on the Infiniti Q30 and QX30 for its luxurious sister brand.