Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu launches EV

NHK -- Feb 18
Officials at one of Japan's major oil refiners say they are preparing to manufacture and sell an electric vehicle.

Idemitsu Kosan has been working with racing-car maker Tajima Motor to develop the compact EV. It seats four people.

The company plans to sell the car through its roughly 6,400 gas stations across the country from next year.

The target price is about 14,000 dollars, although the officials say it might go for even less.

The vehicle represents Idemitsu's efforts to diversify, while society tries to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.

Idemitsu Kosan CEO, Kito Shunichi, said "Our company will continue to pursue its corporate mission of providing stable energy resources, but also develop new areas for its future business."

Idemitsu aims to continue developing its EV business as demand for gasoline is expected to decline in the future.

- NHK

石油元売りの「出光興産」が電気自動車の事業に参入します。  出光興産が販売を検討するのは、4人乗りの超小型電気自動車です。  最高速度は時速60キロメートル、走行距離は120キロメートル前後を想定しています。  電気自動車などの開発を手掛けてきた企業と共同で会社を設立し、10月に車両を発表したうえで、来年にも1台150万円以下で販売を始めたい考えです。  「潜在的な需要は年間100万台」と想定しています。 - ANNnewsCH