Nissan Unveils All-New Mini Electric Vehicle In Japan

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Nissan Unveils All-New Mini Electric Vehicle In Japan

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Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, and NMKV Co., Ltd. held a line-off ceremony today for the new Kei or mini electric vehicle (EV) to be released by Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors. The ceremony took place at the Mitsubishi Motors’ Mizushima Plant in Kurashiki City, Okayama Pref., Japan, where the vehicle is produced.

Under planning and development management by NMKV, a joint venture of Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, the Kei EV has not only integrated Nissan’s advanced technologies with Mitsubishi Motors’ expertise in manufacturing Kei cars, but also the two companies’ combined electrification technologies. This new-generation Kei EV will be launched as the Nissan Sakura and the Mitsubishi Motors eK X EV.

In addition to the EV production technology that the Mizushima Plant has honed through the i-MiEV, the world’s first mass-produced electric vehicle, as well as Minicab MiEV, the plant has achieved high quality and cost competitiveness through the investments in the on-site battery pack and integrated production, EV platform production line, and more.

Makoto Uchida, president and chief executive officer of Nissan, Takao Kato, president and chief executive officer of Mitsubishi Motors, and Mitsuro Antoku, president and chief executive officer of NMKV, attended the ceremony, together with Mizushima Plant employees and other local related parties. In front of the new Kei EV, which had just come out from the production line, they committed to further growth.

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Offering both a sufficient range for everyday use and an affordable price, the new Kei EV has realized the smooth and powerful driving experience of EVs, a quiet and comfortable ride, as well as high safety and comfort through the adoption of advanced driver assistance systems and connectivity.

Named after the iconic Japanese cherry blossom, Sakura’s affordable price provides more consumer choices in the EV market. Nissan Executive Vice President Asako Hoshino says: “The all-new Sakura follows the LEAF and Ariya as a mass-market EV. We believe it will be a game-changer for the Japanese market and will make EVs much more accessible to customers in Japan.”

The Sakura EV takes the mini-vehicle class to the next level. Its nimble handling and 4.8 meter turning radius allow drivers to execute sharp maneuvers with ease. Despite its size, the Sakura has a spacious interior and an ample driving range, making it perfect for daily driving needs such as commuting and shopping. It also features ProPILOT Park, an automated system designed to make parking easier and driving more pleasurable.

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The Sakura features the instant, smooth power and quietness that are the hallmarks of EVs. Equipped with advanced control technology and a motor producing 47 kW and 195 Nm of torque, the Sakura’s quick and steady acceleration makes merging on highways effortless. Meanwhile, the technology Nissan has cultivated through its development of the LEAF over more than a decade has enabled the Sakura to have the highest level of cabin quietness in the mini-vehicle class.

Three drive modes — Eco, Standard and Sport — provide optimal performance for different situations. Using e-Pedal Step, the driver can decelerate smoothly and steadily by easing off the accelerator pedal — an action that also charges the battery through regenerative braking. The Sakura’s speed can be modulated using just the accelerator pedal. This makes driving more enjoyable on city streets, where repeated acceleration and deceleration are necessary, and on snow-covered roads that require smooth deceleration.

The Sakura is equipped with a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery that has a track record of performance and reliability in the LEAF. Thanks to the special stacking method of its cells, the battery is compact, allowing the Sakura to have a spacious interior. Yet it offers a range of up to 180 km (based on WLTC Japan cycle), making it perfect for daily use. The battery can also be used as a mobile power source during emergencies and provide a day’s worth of electricity to a home.

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Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors will deepen their collaboration through NMKV to build an even more competitive Kei vehicle lineup.

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