Japan prepares new electric car for launch in 2013


Tokyo-based Keio University (which happens to be my alma mater) is ready to take Sim-Drive, its eco-friendly vehicle technology, to another level. The university announced over the weekend that it will collaborate with a total of 34 Japanese companies and municipalities, including powerhouses such as Mitsubishi Motors or Isuzu, to release a new electric car.

The aim of the consortium is to develop and mass-produce an electric car prototype that’s based on the Sim-Drive technology. Each participating company and institution is financing the project with $220,000. If things go as planned, the futuristic, four-motor (one for the end of each axle) car will be able to drive 300km on a single charge. This driving range is about twice that of electric cars that are available currently.

The consortium expects a first prototype to be ready this summer. Mass-production (meaning around 100,000 vehicles) is scheduled to begin in 2013. Price-wise, the final version is expected to be on the same level as gasoline-powered cars (excluding batteries).

Via Keio SFC Clip [JP]