Japanese Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles

Japanese Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles

Japanese Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles


Japan played an important role in the Global Automobile Industry, since they began building their first automobiles in 1910s. Japan Automobile Industry grew very fast and soon became one of the most prominent and largest industries in the world. Japan has been in the top three countries with most cars manufactured since 1960s. The automotive industry in Japan rapidly increased from the 1970s to the 1990s, and overtook U.S. as the production leader with up to 13 million cars per year manufactured and exported.

Japan is working hard in the production of Electric Vehicles too. They are producing very fine and advanced models of Electric Cars. Even some models from Japanese makers are already very popular in world markets. The country is home to worlds most popular vehicle manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Daihatsu, Yamaha and Mitsuoka and many more. With the hard work and determination, Japanese makers have earned a prestigious position in the world Automobile industry.



Nissan produced its first Datsun a small, boxy passenger vehicle designed by Japanese automotive pioneer Masujiro Hashimoto that was first produced in 1914 at its Yokohama plant in April 1935. The company began exporting cars to Australia that same year. Nissan converted entirely from producing small passenger cars to producing trucks and military vehicles during World War II. In 1960, Nissan became the first Japanese automaker to win the Deming Prize for engineering excellence. New Datsun models like the Bluebird (1959), the Cedric (1960) and the Sunny (1966) raised Nissan sales in Japan and abroad, and the company experienced phenomenal growth in 1960s.

The energy crises of 1970s fueled the rise in exports of affordable, fuel-efficient Japanese-made cars: The third-generation Sunny got the highest score on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s tests of fuel economy in 1973. Nissan expanded its foreign operations, which include manufacturing and assembly plants in as many as 17 countries around the world. Nissan introduced its first battery electric vehicle, the Nissan Altra at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on 29 December 1997. In 2009, the EV-11 prototype electric car was based on the Nissan Tiida. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF as the first mass-market, all-electric vehicle launched globally. As of March 2014, the Nissan Leaf is the world’s best selling highway-capable all-electric car ever. Global sales totaled 100,000 Leafs by mid January 2014, representing a 45% market share of worldwide pure electric vehicles sold since 2010.



Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese public multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to release a dedicated luxury brand, Acura, in 1986. Since then, Honda has also been involved with artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMO robot in 2000.

In late 1999, Honda launched the first commercial hybrid electric car sold in the U.S. market, the Honda Insight. The first-generation Insight was produced from 2000 to 2006 and had a fuel economy of 70 miles per US gallon (3.4 L/100 km; 84 mpg-imp) for the EPA’s highway rating, the most fuel-efficient mass-produced car at the time. Total global sales for the Insight amounted to only around 18,000 vehicles.

Honda introduced the second-generation Insight in its home nation of Japan in February 2009, and released it in other markets through 2009 and in the U.S. market in April 2009. At $19,800 as a five-door hatchback it will be the least expensive hybrid available in the U.S. Since 2002, Honda has also been selling the Honda Civic Hybrid (2003 model) in the U.S. Market. It was followed by the Honda Accord Hybrid, offered in model years 2005 through 2007. Sales of the Honda CR-Z began in Japan in February 2010, becoming Honda’s third hybrid electric car in the market.

The hybrid of Honda Fit EV version starts at ¥1.59 million (around US$20,000), the lowest price for a gasoline-hybrid electric vehicle sold in Japan. The Fit Hybrid features a 1.3-litre engine and electric motor, with an estimated fuel economy of 3.3 liter per 100 kilometer. The car uses a parallel hybrid system that works in tandem with the gasoline engine. The parallel hybrid system is simple and lightweight while enhances driving performance and fuel economy.



Toyota was started in 1933 as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works devoted to the production of automobiles under the direction of the founder’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda. Its first vehicles were the A1 passenger car and the G1 in 1935. The Toyota Motor Co. was established as an independent company in 1937. In 2008, by surpassing General Motors, Toyota became the number one automobile maker in the world. Toyota Motor Corporation produces vehicles under 5 brands, including the Toyota brand, Hino, Lexus, Ranz, and Scion.

Today Toyota is one of the largest companies to push hybrid electric vehicles in the market and the first to commercially mass-produce and sell such vehicles, with the introduction of the Toyota Prius in 1997. The company eventually began providing this option on the main smaller cars such as Camry and Lexus divisions, producing some hybrid luxury vehicles. It labeled such technology in Toyota cars as “Hybrid Synergy Drive” and in Lexus versions as “Lexus Hybrid Drive.”

As of December 2013, Toyota Motors Corporation sells 24 Toyota and Lexus hybrid models and one plug-in hybrid in about 80 countries and regions around the world, and the car maker has plans to introduce 15 new hybrid models before the end of 2015. The Prius lift back is the top selling hybrid gasoline-electric car in world, with cumulative sales of 3 million units since its introduction in 1997 through June 2013.

The RAV4 EV is assembled at Toyota’s facility in Woodstock, Ontario along with the regular gasoline version. Tesla is building the electric power train at its plant at Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, and then ships them to Canada. The RAV4 EV is sold only in California, beginning with the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego. Production will be limited to 2,600 during the first three years. As of 31 March 2013, a total of 402 RAV4 EVs have been sold in the U.S.



Mitsubishi’s automotive origins date back to 1917, when the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. introduced the Mitsubishi Model A, Japan’s first series-production automobile. An entirely hand-built seven-seated sedan based on the Fiat Tipo 3, it proved expensive compared to its American.

In 1934, Mitsubishi Shipbuilding was merged with the Mitsubishi Aircraft Co., a company established in 1920 to manufacture aircraft engines and other parts. The unified company was known as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), and was the largest private company in Japan. In 1937, developed the PX33, a prototype sedan for military use. It was the first Japanese-built passenger car with full-time four-wheel drive, a technology the company would return to almost fifty years.

Mitsubishi Motors started selling i MiEV, the all-electric mini-car with a lithium-ion battery pack tucked under its floor, to retail customers in the summer 2009. The innovative Plug-in Hybrid system that powers the Outlander PHEV delivers remarkable eco efficiency without compromising comfort, performance or convenience. Today Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is a multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. In 2011, Mitsubishi Motors was the sixth biggest Japanese automaker and the sixteenth biggest worldwide by production.


Related Links:



Share post