Nissan Leaf's Grandfather

While strolling around in Nissan’s Tech Center, looking for secret cars, I lucked into this: Nissan’s first EV. Along with its Chief Engineer. Both retired.

After World War II, oil was very scarce in Japan, but electricity was plentiful. The Japanese government did the same certain governments do today: It promoted the manufacture of electric vehicles. Shepherded by Chief Engineer Tanaka-san, the “Tama” was built in 1947.

A big battery gave it a cruising range of 96.3 km and a top speed of 35.2 kph. The Tama was used as a taxi and in similar roles until 1950.


  • Anonymous

    What happened after that, did the oil companies crushed them.
    Had they continued at that pace, today we should be having EVs everywhere.

  • Lad

    Had Edison continued with the development of batteries and Ford had not gone over to the dark side with Standard Oil, we might never have fought wars over the economics of oil and the middle-east might have remained sand land.

  • alessandra

    This seems to be a time machine. It looks very nice and the people certainly like it. Maybe it will be a smart idea to make an exposition for this.
    Cazare Ieftina

  • larry68

    There is definitely so much history that goes along with this car. This is so amazing to see. Did not know they worked on this back then. Orlando Spa

  • redrain

    What happened afterwards that, did the oil companies ashamed them.
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    Had they connected at that pace, today we should be accepting EVs everywhere.