Nissan Debuts its First Kei EV, the Sakura

Nissan has unveiled its first all-electric kei car called the Sakura which is named after Japanese cherry blossoms. The car connects to the IMk concept that the company showcased back in 2019.

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The Nissan Sakura measures just 3,395 mm long, 1,475 mm wide, and 1,655 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,495 mm. Depending on the variant, the kei EV weighs between 1,070 and 1,080 kg, and can accommodate 4 passengers and up to 107 liters of cargo.

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In terms of design, the Sakura stays familiar but a slightly trimmed down version of the IMk concept. Up front, there’s a closed-off grille with an insert featuring many horizontal lines that blend into the ice hockey stick-shaped DRLs and slim headlamps. The front bumper sports a large, trapezoidal-shaped intake and black angular sections at the corners that house parking sensors. Towards the sides, the overall shape is generally boxy with window line rising towards the C-pillars. The rear gets a wide-width light bar that links the small taillight clusters, just above a black trim piece with the Nissan script.

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Inside there is a two-spoke steering wheel, a front seat bench and a “shelf” on the dashboard with a small storage slot under the rightmost air vent. There is also the large 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, placed beside a 7-inch digital instrument cluster.

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The Sakura comes with Nissan’s ProPILOT driver assistance system, features like adaptive cruise control, front collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist are present as standard. As a first for a kei car, it also gets the ProPILOT Park system to assist drivers by automatically parking the vehicle for them.

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The Sakura kei EV features an underfloor-mounted 20-kWh, 350-volt lithium-ion battery that powers an MM48 electric motor driving the front wheels. The motor is rated at 63 hp or 47 kW (in keeping with kei car regulations) and 195 Nm of torque, allowing Sakura to attain a top speed of 130 km/h. Three drives modes are available– Eco, Standard and Sport – plus drivers will also be able to use e-Pedal Step, which is a system for one-pedal driving.

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In terms of range, Nissan quotes up to 180 km on a full charge following the WLTC standard. As for charging, the company says it takes 8 hours to fully recharge the battery to 100% using a 2.9-kW AC input, or about 40 minutes to get to 80% with a 30-kW DC input. The battery can also be used as a mobile power source during emergencies and provide a day’s worth of electricity to a home, assuming you don’t need more than 12 kWh per day, which is the average power consumption for general households in Japan.

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Nissan Sakura comes available in 15 body colors, including four two-tone options, while the interior colors include black, beige and blue grey. Prices start at 2,333,100 yen (PKR 36.53 lac) for the base S variant, moving up to 2,399,100 yen (PKR 37.57 lac) for the mid-range X and topping out at 2,940,300 yen (PKR 46.05 lac) for the top-spec G. However, with Japan’s clean energy vehicle subsidy scheme, the Sakura will actually be priced from approximately 1.78 million yen (PKR 27.84 lac).

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