From: Kyodo News International, Tokyo
Published February 7, 2005 12:00 AM

Mitsubishi Motors, Heavy Eye Joint Development of Fuel-Cell Car

Feb. 7—TOKYO — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. are considering joint development of an environment-friendly fuel-cell vehicle as part of the struggling automaker's revival effort under the heavy machinery maker's leadership, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.

The development project would enhance the effect of collaboration for the rehabilitation of Mitsubishi Motors, which is mired in multiple vehicle defect coverups, they said.

Fuel-cell cars are virtually pollution-free because they run on electricity produced when hydrogen stored in a tank combines with oxygen in the air leaving water as a byproduct.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is a leader in the development of fuel cells, particularly in the field of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Polymer electrolyte fuel cell technology has been employed by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. for their fuel-cell vehicles.

The development project would follow the two Mitsubishi companies' joint development in 2001 of a vehicle powered by hydrogen extracted from methanol.

Late last month, Mitsubishi Motors announced a plan to seek revival under the leadership of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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