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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Honda to launch electric car in US by 2015

Honda plans to develop an electric car to debut in the U.S. market by around 2015 as tighter environmental regulations push demand for zero-emission vehicles, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

Honda, Japan's No. 2 automaker, has started developing a prototype of the car to be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, the business daily reported, without citing sources.

The vehicle is expected to be around the size of a minicar, it added.

Other automakers such as Toyota and Volkswagen have also announced plans to launch electric cars in the next few years.

But they say it could take decades for the vehicles to spread due to their high cost, limited driving range and long charging times with the current battery technology.

Nissan, Japan's third biggest automaker, unveiled its electric car "Leaf" earlier this month with plans to begin selling it in the United States, Japan and Europe towards the end of 2010.

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