While GM might have killed the electric car, it seems the Japanese government plans to revive it. A panel set up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan has put together a plan to develop the next generation of environmentally friendly vehicles and batteries, to reduce the country's oil consumption. The plan calls for introduction of environmentally friendly vehicles in stages, and will support a project to develop next-generation batteries to power automobiles. Japan wants to have a two-seater electric vehicle capable of traveling 50 miles per charge in mass production by 2010. The government plans to offer incentives to make the vehicles widespread, and it plans to develop the needed infrastructure for them. By 2030, the panel hopes local car makers will mass-produce electric vehicles powered by batteries, and a significantly lower cost compared to current offerings.
(Note: Pictured is an 8-wheel EV developed by researchers at Keio University in Japan)