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Translogic goes trans-Pacific for Episode 8.3, the first of six epsiodes we'll be bringing you from Japan. Which begs the question: Why?

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There's no doubt that solar energy is one of the greenest sources of electricity and the idea of using it to power transportation is not new. We've seen solar-powered boats and solar-powered cars before, among other things, but we didn't know until now that a solar-powered high-speed train was on anyone's drawing board. Apparently, it is.

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Public transportation options – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Click above to read more about the Governors' opening talk at SAE 2009

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The Japanese already have some of the fastest trains in the world and it looks like Kawasaki Heavy Industries is about to give travelers another reason not to get airborne. The new Environmentally Friendly Super Express Train will hit speeds up to 217 mph thanks to a slick shape to slice through the air and lightweight construction. Those same features will help the electrically-powered super-train use less energy. Also contributing to reduced energy consumption is a regenerative braking system

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