Nissan's First Electric Vehicle: The 1947 Tama

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
nissan s first electric vehicle the 1947 tama

It’s probably a bit of a stretch to call the 1947 Tama a “Nissan.” This lead-acid battery-powered two-door was developed in response to post-War oil rationing by the unemployed aircraft engineers of Tachikawa Airplane Company, a firm that later renamed itself the Tokyo Electric Motorcar Co. That company later became the Prince Motor Company, which in turn merged with Nissan, making the Tama a tenuous but real part of Nissan’s EV legacy. When tested by Japan’s ministry of transport, the Tama beat its claimed performance, going 96.3 km on a single charge and reaching a top speed of 35.2 km/h from its 36V motor. Tamas were sold until 1950, and were used mostly for taxi service, although a pickup truck version was made as well. With Nissan rolling out its Leaf and generally betting its shirt on EVs, we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see the Tama pop up in future Nissan ads and promotional materials. Let’s just hope they leave out the “born from jets” angle…

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  • MikePDX MikePDX on Dec 04, 2010

    They've already started promoting with the Tama - it was featured in a display at the Leaf Test Drive event last month. --Mike

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Dec 04, 2010

    I think they ought to dust off the tooling for the Tama and build a few, EV or not. Its better lookng than most of the bloated attempts at retro vehicles and would be practical enough for an entry level vehicle.

  • Caljn Caljn on Dec 04, 2010

    what a great little vehicle!!

  • Mpresley Mpresley on Dec 05, 2010

    Now that is one cool looking little truck.