Prince Motor Co.

1949 Tama Senior EMS-49-I


In September 1948 Tama expanded their model range and introduced an upmarket model called the Tama Senior EMS-49-I, which was sold alongside the existing Tama E4S-49-I, which was now refered to as the Tama Junior. The new Senior featured an attractive coupe body, with 4 broad horizontal strips for a grille.

As with the Junior model, the Senior was an electric car. 


To propel the car along it had an 80 volt 6hp electric motor, which was powered via an 80 volt 204 amp hour battery pack, which was considerably more than the 4.5hp 44 volt system in the Junior. The bigger battery pack gave the Senior a travelling range of 150km on a single charge. The extra power was needed, as the bigger Tama tipped the scales at a whopping 1650kg, which is an awful lot for a car not much bigger than a current model Suzuki Swift. Top speed was 45kph. 

In March 1949 an upgraded model was introduced called the EMS-49-II. This new version had an enlarged battery pack with 250 amp hour of output, which increased its range to a full 200km, and upped the top speed to 55kph. The extra battery capacity however added another 126kg to its total weight, bringing it now up to 1776kg. Previously hard to get materials such as chrome were now starting to become more readilly available again in post-war Japan, and the new model featured lashing of chrome along it sides and an ornate grille to demonstrate its place as a higher price point vehicle. A 4 door version was also added to the range at this time, which pushed the weight up to a staggering 1930kg.

A final version was released in February 1950 called the EMS-49-III. This featured a new grille with a chrome surround and a single horizontal bar in the middle. The coupe variant was dropped from the range, leaving only the 4 door.

Production of the Tama Senior continued until early 1952. By that time political upheaval in a foreign country would set off a chain of events that would kill off the Japanese electric car industry. In 1950 the Korean War erupted, and although Japan was not directly involved in the conflict, it would feel the effects. The Korean War triggered a global supply problem for lead, which is a major element used in lead battery production. Between 1950 and the end of 1951 the price of lead in Japan had increased tenfold, and suddenly the electric car was no longer economically viable. Luckilly, at around the same time the rationing of petrol had reduced considerably, making petrol engined cars much more viable. The Tama Senior and Junior would be the last full electric vehicles in Nissan's history until the Nissan Leaf arrived in 2010.

Model Variations


Tama Senior EMS-49-I

 The first model Tama Senior was available as a 2 door only. It has a grille with 4 wide horizontal bars and no decorative chrome work along the side of the car. It has an 80 volt 204 amp hour battery pack. 


Tama Senior EMS-49-II

 The second generation Senior was available as either a 2 door or as a 4 door. This model has chrome strips along the side of the car. This model has an 80 volt 250 amp hour battery pack. 


Tama Senior EMS-49-III

 The EMS-49-III was the final version. It was available as a 4 door only. The grille features a chrome surround with a thin horizontal bar in the middle. 

1949 Tama EMS-49-I   

Length - 3980mm
Width - 1570mm
Height - 1550mm
Wheelbase - 2220mm
Weight - 1650kg
Top speed - 45kph
Transmission - 2 speed

Engine Specifications

Model - Tama
Electric 80 volt
Power - 6hp
Torque- unknown    
Final drive - unknown

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