From: Kyodo News International
Published August 30, 2005 12:00 AM

Daihatsu To Release First Hybrid Commercial Minivehicle

OSAKA, Japan — Daihatsu Motor Co. said Monday it will release a commercial minivehicle next month that is powered by an electric-gasoline hybrid system, the first of its kind in the industry.

The Hijet Cargo Hybrid will enter the Japanese market on Sept. 26, with Daihatsu initially aiming at annual sales of 100 units, mainly targeting public offices and eco-conscious companies, said Daihatsu, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp.

The four-seater, with collapsible back seats, has an engine capacity of just under 660 cc.

The minivehicle is expected to improve carbon dioxide emissions and fuel efficiency by 30 percent or more, compared with comparable gasoline vehicles. But its suggested retail price is about 2.22 million yen, more than twice the prices of the gasoline models.

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Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

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