EARTH DAY: 1947 Tama E4S-47-1 Electric Car

Right after WW2, petrol was scarce in Japan. The Tachikawa Aircraft Company responded to this shortage by developing the car you see here, the Tama E4S-47-1, in 1947. The fully-electric car had a top speed of 35 kph (22 mph), a range of about 65 km (40 miles), and was powered by an array of batteries accessible from a panel below the door. Can you guess which legendary Japanese classic can trace its ancestry back to the Tama?

Tachikawa changed its name to the Tokyo Electric Car Company and began low-volume mass production. In 1949, the company changed its name once again to the Tama Electric Car Company and introduced a new model called the Senior, good for 200 km (124 miles!) on a single charge.

Soon oil imports normalized and the company changed focus once again. In 1952, it became the Prince Motor Company. So all of you who guessed Skyline GT-R were correct! Most Tamas were used as taxis until 1950. Of course, now Nissan has the all-electric Leaf, so Circle of Life and all that. Happy Earth Day!

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10 Responses to EARTH DAY: 1947 Tama E4S-47-1 Electric Car

  1. E-AT_me says:

    i’m surprised one of these hasn’t ended up in a Nissan Leaf commercial yet..

  2. Ryuji says:

    Tachikawa (Nissan), Mitsubishi (obviously) and Nakajima (Fuji : Subaru)…three car companies from three WWII fighter aircraft companies!

  3. Nigel says:

    Looks like a milk truck, but still very cool. The Japanese always seem to find ways around adversity and tough problems.

    Happy Earth Day all !

  4. Tyler says:

    Also, I’d love to have that logo on a t shirt. Does anyone know which way faces up?

  5. Craig says:

    I recently discovered the Nissan Hypermini Another one of Nissans electric cars I’ve never heard of before.

  6. Chris says:

    So no one is going to call out the Elitist Oil industry for suppressing today’s electric mileage??? I mean this first generation tech of over 70 years ago has better range than our electric cars today.

    • Johnny Socko says:

      ” has a better range than our electric cars today.” You might want to re-read it. Its range was 200 km or 124 miles. Even in city driving, those miles would rack up quickly.

  7. -- says:

    It also uses lead batteries that usually have more capacity but less reliability and safety, as well as having a speed limit of approximately 30 MPH. Do you want to drive 200 miles at 30 MPH? I don’t.

    Besides that, the range of today’s electric powered vehicles is well over 200 miles. That’s while having a radio, air con, heat, heated seats, running lights, ABS, fuel injection, sensors, electronic differential, etc. I think we’ve moved along in the technology huh?

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