The Japanese Trade Ministry is going to provide $1.7 billion in assistance to local carmakers over the next five years to help them develop cleaner cars. They will kick in about $42 million a year toward developing better cheaper batteries for electric cars. The target is to get the retail price of electric cars down under $25,000 by 2010 and under $16,500 by 2020.

Additional funds will go toward reducing the cost of hybrid systems and hydrogen powertrains in order to make them mainstream. Currently fossil fuels account for nearly one hundred percent of transportation fuels but the government has set a target of reducing that to eighty percent by 2030.

[Source: The Auto Channel]

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