According to a Financial Times online article, the answer to the question in the headline is yes. The EV revolution will require a lot of participants, and editor J. Soble summarizes the recent efforts from four Japanese automakers, the postal service, a utility company and the Japanese government, which are all working towards a future with a lot of electric cars on the road.
Subaru has cooked up another electric kei car for me to park in my fantasy green garage, right next to the R1e and Mitsubishi i MiEV I don't currently have. It's a plug-in concept version of the Stella, and it will make its formal debut at next month's G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan. Five of the cars will be on hand at the conference -- four to shuttle folks hither and to, and one on static display as part of the on-site Environmental Showcase
Click image for a gallery of the Subaru R1e in New York
Subaru has been field testing a fleet of R1e battery electric cars for some time now in Japan and had previously indicated that they want to have an electric car in production by 2010. It now looks like 2009 is the time frame for the start of production, at least in limited quantities. Following an initial run of about 100 units the first year, Subaru wants to ramp up production to help drive down battery costs. Subaru is targeting a price of $17,500 by 2012-13. Within a few years after that the
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 mo