70 year difference: Nissan compare their oldest EV to the newest
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When we talk about Japanese manufacturers that sit at the forefront of technology, it's easy to talk about Toyota and their revolutionary Uber-jalopy Prius. Or perhaps Mazda and all the thought behind their rotary engines. There's also Subaru and Mitsubishi, innovating some of the best all-wheel drive systems in the world via their involvement in the WRC.
But consider Nissan in that group, too.
In some ways overshadowed, Nissan's history is dotted with wild and innovative cars. The Skyline R32 GT-R dominated the touring-car world with its incredible tech, the DeltaWing turned heads in the world of GT racing (though it fell short on the timesheets), and the Leaf remains one of the world's most common electric vehicles.
Only, it's not Nissan's first EV rodeo.
EVs are generally considered to be a modern occurrence, but they've been around in some capacity since the late 1800s. Among the first to shoot for mainstream acceptance was Nissan ... but not with the Leaf.
Instead, it was with the Tama — a 1947 creation from back when the company was known as Prince Motors.
It came off the back of World War II, when oil was a rare commodity in Japan. It had a whopping 3.3kW motor, powered by a 40 volt battery. Paltry by today's standards obviously, when Tesla can get an electric car to wizz to 100km/h in less than three seconds.
But it was enough for the time; capable of hitting a top speed of 35km/h and a range of 65km — though not at the same time.
To mark the arrival of the new Nissan Leaf, which is expected to hit New Zealand shores next year, the Japanese marque have paid tribute to their past with the above clip. Much of it is in Japanese (captions can be turned on), but it's well worth a watch.