From: Kyodo News International, Tokyo
Published August 19, 2005 12:00 AM

Fuji Heavy Unveils Electric Car that Uses Lithium-Ion Battery

TOKYO — Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. unveiled an electric minicar concept model on Thursday that uses high-performance lithium-ion batteries the automaker says will help it compete against others in developing environment-friendly vehicles.

Fuji Heavy President Kyoji Takenaka said with the Subaru R1e model, Fuji Heavy is ready to challenge Toyota Motor Corp. and other rivals leading in technologies for hybrid electric-gasoline or fuel-cell vehicles.

"Electric vehicles could establish a certain presence if we developed technology to charge batteries overnight," Takenaka said.

Fuji officials said they company plans to conduct road tests of Subaru R1e this year and has no firm date on when to bring the car to the market.

The lithium-ion batteries, co-developed by a joint venture of Fuji Heavy and NEC Corp., only take five minutes to be charged 90 percent, the company said. The car can be driven more than 150,000 kilometers without needing a change in battery.

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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

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