Zero-emission Japanese Car Race

by Silent Sinner


Mitsubishi Motors' electric vehicle 'iMiEV'

In the next few years, the world may see a whole new generation of cars as automakers around the world race to mass produce zero-emission cars. Japanese car makers are racing to develop zero-emission cars, and US and European manufacturers have also announced plans to roll them out within a few years.

Zero-emission vehicles may not be a novel concept for long but experts say that these could be a hard sell in the current recession.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. spokesman Kai Inada described the iMiEV electric car as “fast, powerful and smooth”.  Produced by the fourth largest Japanese automaker, iMiEV is set to launch next year.

Mitsubishi’s electric car now runs 160 kilometers (100 miles) on one charge, which takes 14 hours when using a conventional 100 volt outlet on the wall, or 30 minutes to charge 80 percent of the battery using a special quick charger. With the help of government subsidies, Mitsubishi Motors aims to sell its iMiEV at a price of less than three million yen (US$30,000) as early as 2010.

Nissan Motor Co. aims to start selling an electric car in the United States and Japan in 2010 and the rest of the world in 2012.

Toyota Motor Corp., which has already won strong interest in its petrol-electric hybrids, is developing a range of fuel cell, electric and other clean cars that run on biofuel or clean diesel.

Honda Motors has been conducting research into hydrogen generation from solar power since 2001, but only at an experimental level.

Other Japanese automakers have been working to create fuel cell cars, which produce electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, with water the only by-product.

Do you think it’s now good to put our hard earned dollars on the race? Or do you wish to wait until their European and American counterparts brings out their babies? Which do you think will be the next generation cars: electric, fuel cell or solar?

(Personally, my money’s on electric. I’ve been wanting one since time immemorial. :D)


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