The Race Is On to Bring Electric Cars to the Market

Longer term, green cars may be necessary lineups for carmakers because of regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

Published: 06-Jan-2009

TOKYO - 'PLEASE erase your image of electric cars being like golf carts,' a spokesman for Japan's fourth-biggest automaker said before taking a zero-emission vehicle out for a spin.

As mass-produced electric cars come closer to reality, their makers are trying to polish the image of what experts say could be a hard sell in the current recession.

'It's fast, powerful and smooth,' Mitsubishi Motors Corp. spokesman Kai Inada said of the iMiEV electric car, which is due to be launched next year.


Powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries and two 67bhp (50kW) electric motors to drive the front and rear axles, the Mixim is a four-wheel-drive car with a theoretical top speed of 112mph and a potential maximum range of 156 miles.

Dodge ZEO is 2+2 electric muscle car for the 21st century powered by 200kW electric drive with 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds and range of 250 miles.

The Air Car may do better than fuel-cell cars, but experts say that using grid power to charge a battery-powered electric vehicle is much more efficient than using electricity to compress and store the same amount of energy in a tank.


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