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    First Drive: Testing Toyota's three-wheel, leaning i-Road trike in Japan
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    Since 2003, Toyota has been rolling out new personal mobility concept vehicles at the Tokyo Motor Show. The first was simply called the PM – for Personal Mobility – in 2003. After that came the i-Unit in 2005, the i-Swing in 2005 and again in 2007, along with two takes on the i-Real ...

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    Exclusive: Honda loves 86-mpg Fit Hybrid in Japan, 'may reevaluate' for US
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    We recently heard Honda chief engineer Art St. Cyr talk about the excellent fuel economy that the Japan-only Fit Hybrid gets. "You may have seen the numbers," St. Cyr told a group of journalists, "the new one-motor hybrid system gives the Fit Hybrid the highest fuel efficiency among hybrid models ...

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    Official: Nissan New Mobility Concept enters carsharing service in Japan
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    Nissan and Yokohama have put together a rather attractive combination of little electric vehicles, little rental prices and big ambitions. Next month, the automaker and Japanese city will debut the first carsharing program of its kind, which will involve two-seat Nissan EVs that may be rented ...

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    Official: Europe ready to sunset support for CHAdeMO DC fast chargers in 2018
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    Since its introduction, it has been clear that the SAE Combo DC fast charging system (pictured) is contentious. While most public charging network providers are hesitant to take sides and different engineers will tell you why one system is better than the other, the big fight was always between ...

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    Official: Honda goes solar in Japan, will sell renewable energy in 2015
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    The sun should be smiling on the new Honda facility in Sakura, Japan, where the automaker is installing a "mega solar system" that can produce 10 MW a year on a new test course. The track will cover 25 hectares (about 62 acres) and be used to test "advanced safety technologies," but we're more ...

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    Official: Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi will collaborate on charging network in Japan
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    A rising tide and electric vehicles may make for a mixed metaphor, but four of Japan's largest automakers say they're going to work together to build out enough of a charging infrastructure to boost demand for plug-in vehicles in their home country. Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi will work ...

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    Study: Governments support EVs not for eco benefits, but for jobs
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    Economists have long argued that there's no better medicine for an ailing economy than a good old-fashioned war. Now, some analysts are arguing that the nascent plug-in vehicle industry is fulfilling the same purpose. Job creation, and not environmental benefits, is the primary reason why many ...

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    Report: Japan sets up hydrogen 'task force' to advance fuel-cell infrastructure
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    We're not sure how "hydrogen superhighway" translates in Japanese, but it looks like Japan is looking to promote the kind of public-private partnership to accelerate hydrogen-refueling infrastructure that the US government has espoused at various times, Hydrogen Fuel News reports. Japan will set ...

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    Report: Next-gen Honda Fit Hybrid could get 85 mpg in Japan
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    Honda continues to tease us hybrid-thirsty Americans by revealing more details (or letting them leak out) about its next-generation Fit Hybrid. The upcoming Fit, which is known as the Jazz overseas, will get a whopping 85 miles per gallon on the lenient JC08 Japanese driving test cycle. That'd ...

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    Official: Subaru XV Hybrid, the company's first, goes on sale in Japan
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    Car-loving treehuggers can now drive off deep into the woods, as Subaru has finally started selling its first-ever hybrid. In Japan, at least. The Subaru XV Hybrid began sales this week in its home country, boasting its ever-present all-wheel-drive layout combined with a CVT transmission and ...

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    Official: Nismo offering Japanese Nissan Leaf owners more range, better performance
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    Nissan has sold tens of thousands of Leaf EVs around the world, but at least for the moment, only buyers in Japan will get to trick their electric vehicles out with the company's new Nismo Performance Package. The NPP's various modules will improve the aerodynamics, driving performance and even ...

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    Official: Endurance racer Keiko Ihara signs on as new face of Nissan Leaf [w/video]
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    The Nissan Leaf isn't exactly synonymous with long-distance racing but that isn't stopping the Japanese automaker from using one of Japan's most recognizable endurance racers to promote the electric vehicle. Nissan has reached an agreement to sponsor Keiko Ihara, who has the distinction of being ...

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    Report: Japan may subsidize, deregulate 100 new hydrogen fuel stations
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    Here's a story that certainly plays to stereotypes: a new network of hydrogen refueling stations being built in Japan are the work of, surprise, oil companies. As The Japan Times reports, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. and 12 other companies – including automakers – are working ...

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    Space-age electric tuk-tuk ready for taxi passengers in Philippines
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    Tuk-tuks are the three-wheeled passenger vehicles commonly used in Asia, and they're often noisy and most-certainly-not-emissions-free. To counter the current state, Japanese start-up company Terra Motors has launched an electric tuk-tuk and thinks its electric tricycle will be a cost competitive ...

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    Official: Discovery of rare earth metals in ocean mud could help Japan
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    There might be a crack in China's domination of rare earth metals – a mud-filled crack, thanks to a discovery by Japanese scientists. Vast reserves of rare earth metals that can be mined cheaply have been found in deep-sea mud on the Pacific ocean seabed. These essential metals are needed ...

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    Official: Mitsubishi halts production of i-MiEV, Outlander PHEV after two plug-in car fires
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    Last week was a rough one for Mitsubishi and its efforts to broaden its appeal among potential plug-in vehicle buyers. Two fires caused the Japanese automaker to halt production of both the Outlander plug-in hybrid and a version of the all-electric i-MiEV. The two separate incidents – both ...

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    Official: Tesla delivering 500 Model S EVs a week; now showing off in Japan, elsewhere
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    You don't deliver 500 expensive, luxury electric vehicles by thinking small. To wit, the Tesla Model S, which Tesla announced today has reached that refined level – and that the global rollout continues. Now, 500 deliveries a week does not mean Tesla is taking 500 new orders a week – ...

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    Study: EV grin on early adopters can fade after buying electric vehicle
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    Japan has been a real test market for electric vehicle ownership, especially for the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV. What have EV owners experienced in this market? While about one third are "green enthusiasts" who love the low energy costs and comfortable driving experience, another third say ...

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    Official: Toyota will test two big electric delivery trucks in Japan
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    In California, "low rider" has long implied a gas-guzzling hot rod. Toyota is now making that term a little more utilitarian in Japan. Toyota, working with Hino Motors and Yamato Transport Co., is testing out a pair of all-electric delivery van that will be used for refrigerated trucking in ...

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    Report: Fuel-saving, self-driving trucks on the road in Japan
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    Readers of a certain age might remember those bumper stickers with Yosemite Sam toting two six-shooters and yelling "Back Off!" He wasn't yelling "So you can burn more fuel!" but researchers are looking at how tailgating could save gas, and, in this case, are working with big rigs. The New ...

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