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Monday, 5th January 2009
In General Japan News,

Race for electric cars in Japan

Japanese carmakers are currently racing to build a vehicle that emits no carbon dioxide and will be available on the open market, it has emerged.

Next year, Mistsubishi will launch its iMiEV electric car which spokesman Kai Inada describes as "fast, powerful and smooth".

Kazuhiro Yamana, head of Mitsubishi's public relations department, commented: "The price and the short mileage per charge are the two biggest challenges we must address."

He added that lithium-ion batteries could power up to three times the current distances within a decade.

Meanwhile, Honda engineer Michio Shinohara concurred that mileage is the biggest issue for car buyers.

Honda's FCX Clarity, which has a cruising distance of 620 kilometres per charge, takes only around four minutes to recharge.

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis is among the celebrities to have purchased the vehicle, reports AFP.

In related news, UK sports car makers Lotus and Ginetta have said they intend to build road-going electric cars.

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Japan's Obama backs namesake in US presidential race (4th September 2008)