TECH INSIDER | NISSAN IMK
12 // January 2020 // www.electrichybridvehicletechnology.com
Nissan’s IMk concept aims to clean up the city
and the reputation of Japan’s compact Kei car
WORDS: LEON POULTNEY
In Japan, the diminutive Kei car accounts for
over one-third of domestic new car sales,
despite the government increasing the
taxation on this tiny example of personal
transportation by some 50% in 2014.
Yet, Ivan Espinosa, corporate vice-president
of Nissan, believes that there is an inherent
problem with the popular Japanese machines,
chiefly that they are flawed in many ways.
“There are a lot of complaints from our
customers that there is a distinct lack of power,
they are often uncomfortable and quite noisy to
drive,” he revealed during a recent Q&A session
at this year’s Tokyo Motor show.
As a solution to this, Nissan took the wraps
from a shimmering copper concept car at the
show that the manufacturer believes will pave
the way for a new generation of compact inner-
city transportation. Dubbed the IMk concept,
the 100% electric vehicle measures just
3,434mm long and 1,512mm wide, with a
roof height of 1,644mm.
Taller than it is wide, the IMk is the first to show
off an all-new electric vehicle platform that the
Japanese marque hopes will spawn a number
of models (of various sizes) that will tackle the
common issues of inner-city overcrowding and
congestion, while simultaneously reducing
emissions and noise by moving away from the
internal combustion engine.
“We are confident that the IMk will be a game
changer for the Kei car segment,” says Makoto
Fukuda, chief product specialist for EV and EV
concepts. “Despite its small size, it feels like
a large car inside and the most common
complaint we find with customers is