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PHOTO CAPTION: Honda Micro Commuter concept fits the ultra-minicar category.

Toshiba Sees Growing Market for Electric Micro Cars in Japan

Now that Japan allows ultra-minicars on its streets, Tosbishi sees new market for its electric car batteries.

Published: 20-Nov-2012

Although the electric vehicle market has yet to take off, lithium-ion battery manufacturers anticipate a boom in sales of electric "ultra-minicars," and domestic makers are already locked in fierce competition with overseas rivals over who will supply the batteries that power the next-generation cars.

Most ultra-mini models run on all electric motors, and all the major automakers have entered or aim to enter the market.

A surge in sales of ultra-minicars would mean battery makers could ramp up underused production facilities, a problem currently troubling the industry, which also could lead to lower prices.

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