The Nissan LEAF was a bit of a novelty as an electric car when it arrived in 2010, but Nissan can trace its electric car history back to the Tama – 70 years ago.
There was a time, at the turn of the last century, when electric cars were competing head-on with ICE cars, but that changed, and for the last century it’s been ICE cars which have ruled the car world.
But in post WWII Japan, fuel was in short supply, so the Prince Motor Company, which was absorbed in to Nissan in 1966, built a prototype electric truck called Tama, complete with a 4.5hp electric motor, and a top speed of 21mph.
That was followed by their first passenger car, which came with two doors, seating for four, a top speed of 22mph and a range of 40 miles. So, not much different to the G-Whiz.
Fast forward 70 years and Nissan has come a long way with their electric cars, creating the world’s best-selling EV in the 2010 LEAF, and now delivering a new 2018 LEAF which really does offer a viable alternative to an ICE car for the majority of drivers.
With its new styling, range of up to 235 miles and prices which actually start lower than the first generation LEAF, Nissan’s EV adventure is starting to reach maturity. And with more new electric Nissans on the way – including a LEAF SUV and a more powerful 64kWh LEAF E-Plus with 215bhp and a 300 mile range – there will soon be a lot more electric Nissans to choose from.
And it all started 70 years ago – not in 2010 with the arrival of the first generation LEAF.
Nissan LEAF and TAMA EV Video