Regarding the Japanese market, the article explains that the impact of hybrid cars is even smaller. And this is because of the price difference between hybrids and its non-hybrid siblings: a Honda Civic Hybrid costs ¥400,000 or $3,700 more than the conventional model. Bearing this in mind and that Japan's target is to reduce emissions by 23.5 percent in 2015, Japanese automakers are asking for help to make these technologies available for more people. And the Japanese government has heard their plea: ¥209 billion ($1,9 billion) between now and 2012 have been allocated to the auto industry to find green technologies (not only hybrids but also biofuels). ¥32 billion are directly invested in hydrogen fuel cell technology, ¥25 billion for EVs and ¥24 billion for Liquified Petroleum Gas.
[Source: Le Monde]