The top selling EV in Japan isn’t a Tesla but an unlikely brand

It's so cheap, you can buy three Teslas for the same price.
  • It’s so cheap you can buy nearly three of these for the price of just one Tesla.
  • It isn’t particularly powerful, but still pretty nippy due to its lightweight.
  • Over 30,000 sold this year.

Published on Oct 25, 2023 at 2:28PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Oct 25, 2023 at 4:44PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray
Nissan Sakura lead image

The top-selling EV in Japan isn’t made by Tesla, or even Porsche or Honda.

And some might say it isn’t even a ‘real’ car.

READ MORE: Nissan unveils new Hyper Adventure concept and the interior looks like the cockpit of a fighter jet

The best-selling electric vehicle in Japan is made by Nissan, and it’s called the ‘Sakura’.

It’s a kei car, which is the smallest road legal passenger car that exists.

Unsurprisingly, the Sakura is only available in Japan, but there’s a good reason for that.

Japan has a high population density, the 12th highest in the world, and this is especially true in the big cities like Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka.

For practical reasons, a kei car makes sense because it looks tiny from the outside, but spacious when you’re sitting in the car.

Developed in partnership with Mitsubishi, the Nissan Sakura is powered by a tiny electric unit that puts out 63 hp.

It has a top speed of 81 mph (130 km/h), but it’s pretty nippy and agile because it only weighs 1,070 kg (2,300 lbs).

It only costs $13,000, which means you can buy nearly three of these for the price of just one Tesla.

Nissan delivered over 21,000 units last year.

And it’ll smash that record this year.

In 2023 so far, Nissan has already sold 35,099 Sakuras.

Even though kei cars were invented in, and for, the Japanese market, they’re now becoming popular elsewhere, too.

Because they’re so tiny, they’re not only cheaper to buy but also less expensive to run.

And that applies to gas-powered ones as well.

This probably explains why they’re even being sold in the US market.

In fact, there’s a tiny pick-up truck that’s now available in North America and it’s doing pretty well in terms of sales.

The fact it only costs $5,000 certainly helps.

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