The last time we spoke about the Nissan IMk was in October 2019. The small electric car seemed to be just a concept until Nikkei Asia discovered that both Nissan and Mitsubishi would present kei cars based on it. With government incentives, they would cost around 2 million yen, equivalent to $18,330 according to the current exchange rate.
It may look like a high price for such a small vehicle, but the fact is that it is similar to that most combustion-engined kei cars present. In other words, the price tag will not be a barrier for anyone willing to go electric.
Kei cars were created in 1949. The latest regulation for them establishes that it must not exceed 3.40 meters (133.86 inches) in length, 1.48 m (58.27 in) in width, 2 m (78.74 in) in height, and a maximum output of 47 kW (63 hp). Combustion engines cannot be larger than 660 cubic centimeters (40.28 cubic inches).
What makes these cars extremely popular in Japan are tax incentives related to parking, refueling, and purchasing. Curiously, the first electric kei car to be sold came from Mitsubishi. You know it as the i-MiEV, and it cost the equivalent to $27,000. That also shows how competitive the new electric kei car based on the IMk promises to be.
The IMk was 3.43 m (135 in) long, 1.51 m (59.5 in) wide, and 1.64 m (64.6 in) tall. It would introduce an all-new electric platform, but Nissan did not disclose if it was modular or any other of its properties. The company also did not mention its range.
Regardless of the battery pack size, it would not be strange if these future cars from Nissan and Mitsubishi came with vehicle-to-grid capability – something important in a country that is so frequently affected by earthquakes – and CCS charging. After the Ariya abandoned CHAdeMO, we do not expect to see that charging standard in any other Nissan or Mitsubishi products.