Japan's Honda to launch electric cars in US

TOKYO: Japan's Honda Motor Co. plans to sell electric vehicles in the US early next decade to meet growing demand there for environmentally friendly cars, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Honda, which has so far focused on hybrid vehicles, is now developing at least one prototype of an electric vehicle to be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, the Nikkei business daily said.

The move comes after its domestic rivals -- Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. -- announced similar plans, with the market for electric vehicles forecast to grow first in the United States before spreading to Japan and Europe.

The US government has said it will provide low-interest loans totalling about eight billion dollars to support the production of environmentally friendly vehicles such as electric cars.

In Japan, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the company behind the Subaru brand, recently began selling electric vehicles.