Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Electric cars to be big draw

TOKYO - MOVE over hybrids - the biggest buzz at this year's Tokyo Motor Show looks set to come from electric cars as the dream of affordable zero-emission vehicles moves closer to reality.

Japanese automakers, pioneers in hybrid cars powered by a mixture of petrol and electricity, are now looking to take fuel-efficient motoring to the next level with vehicles that run on rechargeable batteries.

Nissan will put its electric car, the Leaf, on display to the public for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show, which kicks off on Wednesday with press previews and opens to general visitors on Saturday.

The mid-sized hatchback, which will go on sale in late 2010 in Japan, is billed by Nissan as 'the world's first affordable, zero-emission car.' It can travel more than 160 kilometres on a single charge, at a top speed of 140 kilometres per hour.

The world's largest automaker Toyota, which has said it aims to launch an electric vehicle by 2012, will display a new version of its electric concept car - the FT-EV II - at the show.

'We think the time is almost ripe for cost levels, batteries and performance to evolve one step further,' said Toyota's Akihiro Yanaka, who oversees the project. -- AFP

source: http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Tech%2Band%2BScience/Story/STIStory_443677.html

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