In the U.S., cars seem to only be getting bigger, but that’s not the case in other parts of the world.
Kei cars, or ultra-compact city cars that are often used for camping, are among the most popular cars for Japanese drivers.
One of the newest and best Kei cars on the market is the
NissanSakura EV, but it's unavailable in U.S. markets.
Read on with the
car ownership expertsat Jerry to learn more about the new Nissan Sakura EV and why this car deserves to make its way stateside.
A Kei car for North American markets
Kei cars may be small, but these lightweight passenger cars are hefty enough to be highway-legal in Japan. According to
Hot Cars, they also sometimes go by ultra-mini, city car, and microcar.
If you want a Kei car of your own, you can import one to the states as long as it meets the foreign import requirements of being over 25 years old, but the category still remains a niche market for collector cars.
If there was one Kei car that would be ideal for breaking through to North American markets, it's the Nissan Sakura.
SUVs continue to reign supreme in North American markets, but there’s a growing number of consumers looking to ditch gas for good and looking for an economical electrified option.
The average price for a new electric car, however, is over $64,000 according to
Kelley Blue Bookestimates—that’s still way out of budget for the average driver.
affordable optionsfor electric cars on the market, but nothing like the Sakura—a sub-$14,000 car that offers 100 miles of range on a single charge.
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All about the Nissan Sakura
The new Sakura was developed by NMKV, or Nissan Mitsubishi Kei Vehicles, a partnership between the two brands dedicated to building Kei cars.
Thanks to this partnership, the Sakura was developed alongside the Mitsubishi eK X EV, and it has everything that the eco-conscious driver wants without breaking the bank.
Nissan already has one popular electric car in North American markets—the
Nissan LEAF—so why not add the Sakura to the lineup as an even cheaper option?
While the Sakura is still a Kei car, it still has a five-door hatchback body type which gives it a more practical feel than others in its class.
The electric motor allows for 63 horsepower, 144 lb-ft of torque, and 80 mph speeds, although you would still need to exercise caution driving it at that speed on U.S. highways. The Sakura is perfect for city dwellers who need a small car for their everyday commute.
Will the U.S. ever get the Sakura?
For Japanese consumers, the Sakura comes at just under the equivalent of $14,000. In U.S. markets, you can’t even get an electric car for less than $20,000—but is that what Americans want?
"The all-new Sakura follows the LEAF and
Ariyaas a mass-market EV. We believe it will be a game-changer for the Japanese market and will make EVs much more accessible to customers in Japan,” said the Executive Vice President of Nissan, Asako Hoshino as reported by Hot Cars.
Should the Sakura follow the success of the LEAF and the Ariya on its home turf, it’s not entirely improbable that an adaption of it could make its way to the U.S.
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