Mazda to Enter Electric Vehicle Market

The vehicle, based on Mazda's Demio subcompact, is expected to have a driving range of 124 miles and will be leased mainly to local government bodies and fleet customers.

Mazda Motor said on Jan. 24 that it is developing an electric vehicle with plans to begin leasing in 2012, the latest entry into a burgeoning market.

"Mazda Motor Corp. is independently developing an electric vehicle with plans to commence leasing in Japan in spring 2012," the Hiroshima-based firm said.

The vehicle, based on Mazda's Demio subcompact, is expected to have a driving range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) and will be leased mainly to local government bodies and fleet customers.

Its domestic rivals Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors have already launched their own electric vehicles, while Toyota Motor and Honda Motor plan to follow suit.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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