Nissan Sakura: Japan’s All-Electric Minicar for Just $19k



Nissan Sakura - All-electric minicar

In the heart of Tokyo, amidst the vibrant cherry blossoms, a new automotive revolution is quietly unfolding – the rise of electric vehicles (EVs). 

Just as the sakura, Japan’s iconic national flower, blooms for a fleeting period each year, the Japanese EV industry has witnessed sporadic growth. 

But now, a new contender has emerged – the Nissan Sakura. In this article, we’ll explore how Nissan is ushering in a second spring for EVs in Japan. 

Let’s have a closer look at the impressive features and innovations that have catapulted this electric car to the forefront of the market.

The EV Pioneer

Some of the big automakers in Japan such as Toyota have not fully embraced the EV wave

But Nissan, as a true outlier in the Japanese EV landscape, gained prominence with the globally successful Nissan Leaf, a groundbreaking EV that remained a bestseller for many years. 

Building on this success, Nissan has condensed its winning formula into a compact package, the Nissan Sakura. 

It is a battery electric kei car marketed by Nissan and produced by NMKV. It was introduced on 20 May 2022 as the first battery electric kei car from Nissan.

Sakura is developed and manufactured alongside the Mitsubishi eK X EV, which shares the same body with the petrol-powered eK X. Its design was previewed by the IMk concept which was showcased in 2019.

This innovative EV has already achieved remarkable sales figures, outpacing total EV sales in Japan from the previous year shortly after its release.

The Blossoming Contender:

Amidst skepticism surrounding Chinese mini EVs, the Nissan Sakura shines as a reliable and promising option. 

Unlike its lesser-known counterparts, Nissan carries a reputable global brand and a history of automotive excellence. 

With the Sakura, Nissan capitalizes on its brand recognition to create a compelling and appealing EV option.

Full Specs of Nissan Sakura

Length3,395 mm
Width1,475 mm
Height1,655 mm
Wheelbase2,495 mm
Weight1,070 kg – 1,080 kg
EngineElectric motor
Power47 kW (64 hp)
Torque195 N⋅m (20 kg⋅m; 144 lb⋅ft)
Top speed130 km/h (81 mph)
Range180 km (110 mi) WLTC
Battery20 kWh lithium-ion
Charging time8 hours (standard charge)
0-100 km/h11.7 seconds
Price¥233,315 (about $19,000) in Japan

Design and Comfort

The Nissan Sakura boasts a distinctive design, with wheels inspired by traditional Japanese mizuhiki knots. 

This unique touch not only adds cultural charm but also maximizes interior space, offering ample room for four adult occupants. 

While the exterior may appear petite, the interior surprises with its comfortable and luxurious sofa-style bench seat, exuding a sense of premium quality.

Innovative Features

Equipped with a 20-kilowatt-hour battery and vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability, the Sakura stands as a prime example of how EVs are tailored to meet local needs. 

V2L technology enables the car to serve as a power source during emergencies or power outages. It can power up a house for 24 hours as a backup power source. 

This reflects Nissan’s commitment to the safety and convenience of its Japanese customers.

Cruising Comfort

Behind the wheel, the Sakura offers a delightful driving experience, particularly well-suited to urban landscapes. 

The steering wheel’s adjustable design and well-proportioned size make navigating small corners a breeze, perfect for city streets.

Interior Elegance

Inside the Sakura, Nissan has struck a balance between functionality and aesthetics. A combination of screens, buttons, and knobs facilitate easy control, while the thoughtful choice of materials exudes a premium feel. 

The plush cloth seats add a touch of comfort, especially during warm days when leather seats might become uncomfortable.

Room for All: Spacious Cabin

Passengers are treated to a spacious cabin, akin to an SUV, with generous headroom and comfortable seating. 

The rear passengers enjoy the same sofa-style experience, even though the bolstering may be slightly lacking. 

Despite the minimalistic features in the back, the emphasis on quality materials and finishes elevates the overall interior ambiance.

Driving the Future: EV for All

Nissan’s Sakura represents a bold step forward, a declaration of confidence in the future of EVs. 

With its impressive performance, design, and innovative features, the Sakura stands as a testament to Nissan’s commitment to driving the EV movement forward. 

The car’s success hints at a broader industry trend, with other manufacturers potentially following suit.

Pros and Cons of Nissan Sakura

Every car has pros and cons and there’s no car that suits everyone. So, here’s a quick comparison of the pros and cons of Nissan Sakura. 

Affordable priceSmall trunk
Long range for a kei carLimited top speed
Quick accelerationNot available outside of Japan yet
Quiet and smooth rideNot as powerful as larger cars
Spacious interior
Modern design


As the sun sets over Tokyo, the Nissan Sakura serves as a shining symbol of Japan’s second spring in the world of electric vehicles. 

With its blend of innovation, comfort, and cultural charm, the Sakura is poised to make a lasting impact on the EV landscape, breathing new life into an industry that is blossoming once again.

Unfortunately, it is not available outside Japan yet. But, would you buy it when it opens to other markets? I would love to have it for short-distance urban commutes.


Pradeep is a mechanical engineer by profession. His passion for modern tech in transportation goes hand in hand with his career. He loves all things about high tech transportation. When he’s not digging into latest auto news, you can find him either working on his tech startup or playing chess with his buddies.

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