Friday, November 04, 2005

Tokyo motor show highlights clean cars

The Tokyo Motor Show kicked off on Friday with car makers showcasing their ambitions for a promising environment-friendly vehicle market.

The event drew 240 auto makers, component suppliers and other related firms from 13 countries.

Toyota Motor Corp., a leading auto maker in the development of environment-friendly cars, presented its Fine-X Concept passenger car powered by fuel-cell.

Another major Japanese car maker Honda Motor Co. unveiled its FCX Concept premium fuel-cell sedan.

General Motors Corp., the world's largest auto maker, showed the Sequel Concept, a sport utility vehicle with fuel-cell technology.

Fuel-cell vehicles run on electricity coming from chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. As a result, the vehicles emit water vapor rather than the harmful tail gas produced by traditional gasoline-powered ones.

However, the fuel-cell vehicles would not hit the market in the following several years.

Before the competition in the commercial fuel-cell vehicles really kills off, the vehicle makers have been engaged in the war of marketing a less cleaner model-- the hybrid car.

Toyota, the world's No. 2 car maker in terms of sales, has been selling its Prius hybrid passenger car for years.

It had on display the concept hybrid version of the Estima minivan, a new line of the Lexus luxurious vehicles.

Mazda Motor Corp., a Ford Motor Co. affiliate, unveiled its Senku concept sports vehicle featuring an advanced hybrid electric-gasoline system and another sports car, the RX-8 Hydrogen RE, which runs on gasoline and hydrogen and is expected to hit the road in 2006 through leasing.

Of the nearly 600 cars and motorcycles being shown, 79 are on public display for the first time ever and another 120 for the first time in Japan.


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