Nissan Motor said it planned to launch a new battery-powered minivehicle in Japan early in the 2022 financial year, which begins on 1 April.

The automaker said the new vehicle was being developed by NMKV Company, a 50:50 joint venture between Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors which is responsible for product planning and project management of minivehicles sold in Japan.

Nissan said the new model aimed to redefine Japan’s popular minivehicle segment with features such as instant acceleration, smooth driving and cabin quietness seen mainly in larger electric vehicle (EV) models. It will also be available with advanced technology including driver assistance.

The new EV will be fitted with a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, enough to cover the typical daily needs of minivehicles in Japan. It can also be used to provide electricity to a home, acting as a mobile power source in case of emergencies.

The vehicle measures 3,395mm in length, 1,475 mm wide and 1,655 mm in height and has been designed to provide easy driving and handling in Japan’s often cramped traffic environment. It is expected to be priced from around JPY2m (US$18,200), not including subsidies.

Nissan said it had sold 500,000 Leaf EVs globally since the first model was launched in 2010, including more than 150,000 in Japan. The company is implementing a Japan-focused electrification programme called Blue Switch, which aims to reduce carbon and other emissions that damage the environment. It also aims to switch its entire range globally to electrified vehicles by the early 2030s.