1947 Nissan “Tama” Electric Vehicle
The Tama was produced by the Tama electric car company, which inevitably would be purchased by Nissan in 1968, by then known as the prince motor company ltd. Created as a way to skirt rising oil prices in Japan post world war 2, the government of Japan compelled manufacturers to produce electric cars through benefits and tax breaks.- Created as a way to skirt rising oil prices in Japan post world war 2, the government of Japan compelled manufacturers to produce electric cars through benefits and tax breaks. The Tama was of consequence due to its strong construction and great reliability. The Tama claimed a range of 65 kilometers, or 40 miles, on a single charge and a top speed of 34 km/h, or 21 mph. This served the car well, as when Japan’s ministry of commerce and industry found that it was capable of 96.3 km (59 miles) and 35 km/h (22 mph) on a single charge, with a 500kg load capacity! These humble beginnings gave the car the position it served for most of its life, as taxis, small work trucks, and people carriers. The Tama also sported a rarity in cars, where engineers think of owners/mechanics. The battery that powers the car’s 4.5 bhp motor was installed with wheels to allow for easy removal and changing.
1973 Nissan EV4
Pictured above: the EV4-P at the top in an orange and white paint job. The EV4-H appears at the bottom in yellow and has a boxier build.
Continuing the Japanese government’s pushing the EV trend, the EV4-P was built in conjunction with the Industrial Science and Technology Agency of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry starting in 1971. This so that by 1973, the EV4-P was road-ready and the most impressive EV to date. It also carried the greatest mileage on a single charge of an EV for the time, 302 kilometers (188 miles) at a constant speed of 40 km/h (24.5 mph). All while averaging a stout 0-40 km/h in 6.9 seconds.
The second truck, the EV4-H, was built upon the lessons learned from the EV4-P and employed a hybrid drivetrain. In this case, hybrid meant simply two types of batteries high-output lead-acid batteries and high-energy-density zinc-air batteries, and a control system that optimized the balance between the two in various driving conditions. The EV4-H clocked an impressive range of 496 kilometers (308 miles) on a single charge with the hybrid system. It could accelerate 0-40 km/h in 4.9 seconds.
1983 Nissan March EV
The Nissan March EV was the first experimental electric car to adopt an innovative electric propulsion system with an induction motor and two-speed electromagnetic transmission. As a result, the battery yielded a range of 160 kilometers at a constant speed of 40 km/h.