The Tama electric car, made in Japan in 1947, had many of the same features that today’s electric cars have. This electric car was being widely used in taxis at that time.
Like the whole world, the trend of electric cars has increased rapidly in India in recent times. People are liking electric cars of domestic companies like Tata and Mahindra. Under the Fame Scheme, the government is now preparing to give subsidy on e-bikes as well. Elon Musk’s Tesla is preparing to launch in India after making a splash around the world. However, you will be surprised to know that the history of electric cars is more than 130 years old. Looking at the TAMA Electric Car made in Japan in 1947, it was worth competing with Tesla’s cars.
The first electric car was made in 1890
The most important thing for an electric car is a battery powered electric motor. Such motors came into existence only in the early 19th century. An experimentalist named William Morrison built an electric car in 1890. It has the credit of being the world’s first electric car. The Porsche company produced its first electric car in 1898, named the P1. Since these cars were neither noisy nor smoked, they quickly gained popularity. In 1900, more than 60 electric cars were being used in taxi service on the streets of New York, USA.
The TAMA Electric Car of 1947 competed with modern electric cars
Japan, famous for innovation, also holds an important place in the history of electric cars. The Japanese car company Tokyo Electro Automobile Company produced an electric car named TAMA Electric Car. The technology of Tachikawa Aircraft was used in this car. This car was first launched in the market in 1947.
This was the time immediately after the Second World War. After the nuclear attack and defeat, Japan was in financial trouble. There was acute shortage of oil, food grains etc. in the country. As the industry had succumbed to World War I, Japan was in a state of surplus in terms of electricity. In such a situation, the Japanese government was encouraging innovation related to electricity. The Tokyo Electric Auto Company was formed under these efforts.
TAMA Electric Car gave a range of up to 200 km on a single charge
Talking about the features of the Tama electric car, it was able to run 96 kilometers on a single charge in the first test. In the first race, this car gave a speed of up to 35 kilometers per hour. The company later made some improvements to the Tama. With this, this car started giving a range of up to 200 kilometers and a speed of up to 50 kilometers per hour on a single charge.
If we look at the popular electric cars of today, Tesla’s basic electric car Model 3 is able to give a range of around 400 km. Its top speed is up to 225 kmph. If we look at domestic companies, Tata’s Nexon EV can run close to 300 km on a single charge. This car can give a speed of up to 120 kilometers per hour.
Indiscriminately used till 1951
Talking about the Tama car, it used the traditional lead acid battery instead of the lithium-ion battery as it is now. For this, the company had given sliding space on both sides of the car, so that it is easy to change the battery. Earlier, a two-seater variant of the Tama was launched. Later, the company also introduced a 4 seater sedan variant, which was codenamed E4S-47 I. By 1951, the car was extensively used in taxi services in Japan. The Tama electric car is said to have played an important role in the reconstruction of Japan after the Second World War.
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First modern electric car launched in 2010
The name of the Tokyo Electro Automobile Company was later changed to Prince Motors, which was acquired by Nissan in 1966. Later in 2010, when the first modern electric car, the Nissan Leaf, was produced, the company restored the Tama. Today this model of the restored Tama electric car with original features is on display at Nissan’s office.