Nissan and Mitsubishi are developing tiny battery-electric vehicles for their home market of Japan and the first fruits of that have officially been revealed. The Nissan Sakura EV and Mitsubishi eK X EV are the first two models from this collaboration. Both vehicles are highly affordable and promise to be great for daily driving duties with a range of up to 180 km or 112 miles on the WLTP Japan cycle.
In terms of design, the Sakura EV and eK X EV are narrow and upright and sport their respective corporate faces. The Mitsubishi features tiered headlights and an enclosed version of the shield grille. Nissan, on the other hand, evokes the Ariya with a blacked-out panel instead of mimicking a grille. They each have generous glass areas all around, different taillight treatments, and side windows that kick up by the C-pillar.
Power comes from a liquid-cooled 20-kWh battery mounted under the floor that can be fully charged in eight hours using a level 2 charger or 40 minutes to 80% using a DC charger. Since the Nissan Sakura EV and Mitsubishi eK X EV are exclusive to the Japanese market, they most likely use a CHAdeMO connector, which is in widespread use in Japan. The single electric motor makes 63 hp and 144 lb-ft of torque, which offers smooth and steady acceleration according to the two automakers.
Nissan Sakura EV and Mitsubishi eK X EV are pint-sized, family-friendly Kei cars
You’ll be able to choose from three drive modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport, the third of which gives you a quicker throttle response. Both vehicles feature one-pedal driving called e-Pedal for the Nissan and Innovative Pedal Operation Mode in the Mitsubishi. A unique feature on the eK X EV is Grip Control, which provides additional traction on slippery surfaces by braking the front wheel that spins and feeding more torque on the one with the most grip.
Nissan and Mitsubishi offer extensive driver assistance features on the Sakura EV and eK X EV. These include the ProPilot Assist and MI-Pilot Assist semi-autonomous systems respectively. In addition to allowing for single-lane assisted driving on the highway, both vehicles also include a self-parking feature that allows them to parallel and perpendicular park into a spot. They also come with the latest version of the corporate Nissan and Mitsubishi infotainment system featuring a 9.0-inch touch screen and a 7.0-inch gauge cluster display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included with the former offering wireless capability.
Nissan will offer the Sakura EV with 15 exterior colors including four two-tone combinations. The interior can be had in black, beige, or blue-gray fabric contrasted with copper trim. There’s also an available leather-wrapped steering wheel as part of the Premium Interior package. Mitsubishi will offer ren single-tone and five two-tone options including a new combination featuring Mist Blue Pearl paired with a Copper Metallic roof. Like the Sakura EV, you can also get the Premium Interior package on the Mitsubishi. The difference here is that you get a light grey interior in leatherette and fabric upholstery.
The eK X EV will also have bi-directional charging capability, meaning it can serve as a generator to power a home or appliances via an adapter for one day during emergencies. Nissan didn’t disclose if the Sakura EV has the same capability but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.