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.


First generation Toyota Prius uses nickel metal hydride batteries with remarkable durability.

Reader asks Globe and Mail's Richard Russell how long batteries will last in an electric or hybrid car, and what will be replacement cost?

VIA electric truck, one of several models offered by the company.

A123 has 22 transportation programs under signed contracts with automakers including GM and SAIC Motor Corp.

Nissan LEAF battery will have estimated 70% capacity after 10 years.

Nissan North America has teamed up with ABB, 4R Energy and Sumitomo Corporation of America to figure out the best way to store and reuse the batteries


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