August 22, 2009 / 7:44 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Honda to unveil electric car in US by 2015-Nikkei

(Updates with company comment)

TOKYO, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T) plans to develop an electric car to debut in the U.S. market by around 2015 as tighter environmental regulations push demand for zero-emission vehicles, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

A spokesperson for the company, Japan’s No. 2 automaker, said it was developing an electric car but had not decided when to launch it.

The company could also not comment on the Nikkei business daily’s report, without sources, that a prototype of the car would be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in October.

The vehicle is expected to be around the size of a minicar, the Nikkei said.

Other automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Volkswagen AG (VOWG.DE) have also announced plans to launch electric cars in the next few years. [ID:nN12291449]

But they say it could take decades for the vehicles to spread due to their high cost, limited driving range and long charging times with the current battery technology.

Nissan Motor Co (7201.T), Japan’s third biggest automaker, unveiled its electric car “Leaf” earlier this month with plans to begin selling it in the United States, Japan and Europe towards the end of 2010. [ID:nT31006] (Reporting by Chisa Fujioka and Yoshifumi Takemoto; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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