Before the EV revolution took the form of superfast grey SUVs with retracting door handles, most EV concepts were dorky, oddly styled tiny hatchbacks relegated to city use. The Nissan Hypermini was probably the weirdest little one you’ve never heard of.

  • Car: Nissan Hypermini
  • Location: Unknown
  • Photog: Unknown
  • Camera: Unknown

The Hypermini, like the General Motors EV1 was an early EV science experiment to gauge the marketability and viability of electric vehicles. It first debuted at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show, but the production versions were made for the 1999 model year. Nissan produced a 219 cars total and threw 26 to the US under a lease-only contract. Unfortunately, they were promptly destroyed after the leases ran out and the cars were returned to Nissan. Sad. The Hypermini likely wasn’t very fast, and its battery technology is completely outclassed by modern EVs, but it’s so damn cute! Look at the hand-sketched illustrations of the electric wheeled phone booth navigating suburban Japan.

I miss when cars were charming. 

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