The year was 1947 and Japan was entrenched in rebuilding the infrastructure destroyed during World War II. Raw materials were scarce and gasoline was rationed. The situation led a team engineers from Tachikawa Airplane company to develop the Tama, a revolutionary vehicle that could run on something other than fossil fuels.
The Tama used a 36-volt lead-acid battery to achieve 60 miles of range and a leisurely top speed of 22 miles per hour. In an odd twist, Nissan, makers of the Leaf, owns what's believed to be one of the last remaining Tamas. Tachikawa, which renamed itself Tokyo Electric Motorcar Co. and then to Price Motor Company, merged with Nissan in 1966. And that's how Nissan got its hand on the Tama, an electrified classic that the automaker wheels out every so often. Hop the jump to catch video of the Tama tackling Nissan's test track.
[Source: All Cars Electric]