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Honda EV-N Electric Concept
Claims to not have been disinterested in EV's up until now

Honda may be a little behind company's like Chevrolet and Nissan when it comes to the development of greener vehicles, but the automaker is playing catch-up by announcing their plan to release an electric vehicle (EV) and a plug-in hybrid in the U.S. and Japan in 2012. Honda also announced that its next generation Civic Hybrid, which is to be released in 2011, will feature a lithium-ion battery pack.

It's likely that Honda will join its rivals like Nissan and GM by releasing an all-electric vehicle build around a lithium-ion battery pack. Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito said that its all-electric vehicle would be aimed at "commuters with a relatively short cruise range."

"Honda has no future unless we achieve significant reduction in CO2 emissions," said Ito. "The next 10 years will be a true test for Honda's survival."

Honda's recent interest in electric vehicles isn't its first crack at greener technology, though. The Tokyo-based Honda makes the CR-Z and the Insight hybrids, and there are plans underway to build a plant in Yorii, Saitama near Tokyo specifically for Earth-friendly models. Honda aims to begin production at this plant in 2013. In addition, there is talk about Honda building yet another plant in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, but there is no set date for production.

Other carmakers will be releasing electric vehicles in 2012 as well, such as Toyota, who is teaming up with Tesla Motors Inc. to build an electric version of Toyota's RAV4 crossover. Several others are releasing (or have released) their EV's as soon as this year, such as Nissan's Leaf and the Mitsubishi iMiEV.

With so many others hopping on the EV bandwagon, it makes sense that Honda would follow. But critics have made accusations in the past saying that Honda was "disinterested" in electric vehicles, which Ito denies. With the lack of details given in Honda's EV announcement, some are still unsure of Honda's intentions. 

"The plan is for a product that is two years away," said Toshiyuki Fukuda, a freelance auto writer that is skeptical of Honda's latest announcement. "Maybe it just wants to ride on the EV boom."

Honda plans to improve their gas-electric lineup by introducing many small, hybrid models within the next year, and will expand Japanese production by aiming for emerging markets like Indonesia, Africa, China and India.



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Trabant
By SuckRaven on 7/20/2010 4:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like an old school Trabant from the Eastern Bloc during the late 80s. I should know, I saw enough of them back then.

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=trabant&um=1&...




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