Japan's Minister of the Environment likes Subaru's R1e, a small electric vehicle the Japanese automaker developed with Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) and NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd. The award is called the '2006 Commendation For Global Warming Prevention Activity' and goes to the R1e and its high-speed charger, which can charge the city car in about 15 minutes (standard outlet charging takes eight hours). Either option gives the R1e a range of 50 miles and a top speed of 62 mph. The most impressive number is that the life of the high-density lithium-ion battery is estimated at 10 years or 124,000-plus miles.

TEPCO said it plans to have 150 fast-charge stations and about 3,000 EVs in Kanagawa prefecture in the next five years. Customers interested in the R1e, which should go into production in 2009, can look forward to a 90 percent reduction in car taxes and purchase taxes as well as discounted parking and highway fees.

[Source: Subaru UK]

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