Prince Motor Co.

1948 Tama E4S-48


The first Tama car remained in production until September 1948, when it was replaced by the vastly improved Tama E4S-48, which like the E4S-47 was an electric powered vehicle. The car was much more sedan-like in its design and appearance. The new model was now a 2 door sedan, which had a much lower floor thanks to the batteries being taken from under the seats and instead mounted at the front of the car under the bonnet.


It continued to use the same 35 volt 4.5hp electric motor as in the past, drawing power from a 40 volt 162 amp hour bank of batteries. Unlike the E4S-47, the batteries in the E4S-48 were not mounted in a removable drawer, it turned out that not many people were overly interested in exchanging a 327kg battery pack on their own. No longer mounted on an old Ohta truck chassis, the new Tama had its own chassis, which now featured independent front suspension. The car also had hydraulic brakes replacing the old cable operated brakes. The body is a timber frame with steel panels. Its grille consisted of 5 horizontal bars with the top one being significantly taller. 

Not long after the introduction of the E4S-48 Shojiro Ishibashi, the head of the Bridgestone group, decided to make an investment in the fledgling company. Thanks to his investment they were able to purchase the old Shoda aircraft factory in Mitaka, which saw its production capacity to increase to 70 vehicles a month.

The investment also allowed some major improvements to be made to the car, and in July 1949 the updated E4S-49-1 model was introduced. This now had an all steel body instead of the previous timber framed design. The motor was changed from 35 volt to 44 volt, and the battery pack was upgraded to 44 volts and 250 amp hour. This brought about no change in in the output, which remained at 4.5hp, but it gave it a much larger range, and could now travel 130km on a single charge, as opposed to the 65 on the 48 model. Top speed increased to 45kph. At this time the car became known as the Tama Junior, thanks to the arrival of a new larger model called the Tama Senior.

In December 1949 a 4 door version was also released called the E4S-49-2. It was mechanically the same as the E4S-49-1. At this time there was also a change to the grille design, which now boasted 2 wide chrome bars instead of the previous 5 bar design. It also featured a new bonnet design tat was much wider at the front.

Model Variations


Tama E4S-48

The original E4S-48 had a timber frame with steel panels. The grille featured 5 horizontal bars, with the top one being taller and curved on the top.was the passenger car version of the EOT-47 truck. It was mechanically identical to the truck, but instead had a two door four seater body. 


Tama Junior E4S-49-1

The E4S-49-1 appeared identical to the E4S-48, but now sported an all steel body. Electric motor is upgraded from 35 volt to 44 volt. The car is now refered to as the Tama Junior. 


Tama Junior E4S-49-2

The E4S-49-2 was the final version. It has a redesigned body with a much wider bonnet. The grille now has only 2 horizontal bars. A 4 door body repleces the previous 2 door design. 

1948 Tama E4S-48 

Length - 3560mm
Width - 1400mm
Height - 1600mm
Wheelbase - 2000mm
Weight - 1115kg
Top speed - 35kph
Transmission - 2 speed

Engine Specifications

Model - Tama
Electric 35 volt
Power - 4.5hp
Torque- unknown      
Final drive - unknown

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