Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors unveiled their first jointly developed light electric vehicles (EVs)—the Sakura and the eK X EV (pronounced “eK cross EV”), —in Japan. The line-off 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.
In addition to the EV production technology that the Mizushima Plant has honed through the i-MiEV as well as Minicab MiEV, the plant has achieved high quality and cost competitiveness through the investments for on-site battery pack integrated production, EV platform production line, and more.
Sales of the Nissan Sakura are scheduled to start this summer, with pricing from ¥2,333,100 to ¥2,940,300 (US$18,000 to $23,000). Sales of the Mitsubishi eK X EV will start in June, with pricing from ¥2,398,000 to ¥2,932,600 (US$18,800 to $22,900).
The vehicles feature a 20 kWh battery pack supporting a range of 180 km (112 miles) (WLTC). The battery pack, which uses a special stacking method for its cells, is thin and laid out under the floor. The roof panel has been made slim to give the vehicle a low center of gravity, thereby reducing roll when cornering.
Weight is distributed at a near-ideal ratio of 56:44 between the front and rear to optimize the four-wheel ground load balance, while the suspension is specially tuned to achieve nimble yet stable operability, giving a relaxed, high-quality ride.
Maximum torque from the 47 kW motor is 195 N·m. Three drive modes are available: normal, Eco and Sport.