Nissan Unveils Small Sakura EV

Small, nimble and cheap. Nissan’s new Sakura – unveiled last month and aimed at the Japanese market, is all of these things. Fitting into Japan’s Kei class of vehicles – a category that, in Japan, receive tax and insurance benefits in exchange for their small size and output – the four-door, four-seater Sakura is 3,395mm long, 1,465mm wide, 1,655mm tall, and has a wheelbase of 2,495. Weight is a trim 1080kg.

Underneath the small body is an electric powertrain system comprising a motor producing 47kW and 195Nm, and a battery pack with a capacity of 20kWh. That’s good enough, Nissan claims, for a top speed of 130km/h and a range of up to 180km.

Charging times for the battery are 8 hours for a ‘standard charge’ (from when the battery warning light is on to fully charged) and 40 minutes for a ‘quick charge’ (from when the battery warning light is on to 80 per cent charge).

That tech includes e-Pedal Step (one-pedal driving), and the battery can also be used as a mobile power source during emergencies and provide electricity
to a home.

The Sakura is equipped with the ProPILOT driver assistance system and there’s plenty of other tech you would expect to find in a modern vehicle. There’s a 7-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display and a 9-inch navigation display, as well as the NissanConnect navigation system which includes features such as route setting based on charging needs, an emergency SOS call service and Apple CarPlay wireless connectivity.

Price is where things get interesting. The Sakura is available in three grades – S, X, and G – and starts at 2.33 million yen – about $AU25,000. Even better, it comes in at 1.78 million yen ($AU18,800) once subsidies are taken into account. That’s pretty good value for a tidy, small, clever urban car.

Sales of the Sakura are scheduled to start in Japan in the middle of the year. While it is unlikely to turn up in Australia any time soon, who knows where the EV market might head, and the Sakura would be an interesting option for city folk who might consider a modern, smart, well-priced EV for those trips around town.

Source: Motor Trader e-Magazine (June 2022) 

20 June 2022

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