Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Niche electric car makers challenge majors


Former Subaru rally driver Yoshio Takaoka readily admits his business was a polluter and now wants to make up for his “sins” behind the wheel.

Takaoka is promoting the zero-emission “Girasole Elettrica” in Japan, one of a number of electric cars on display this week at a Tokyo expo. 


Other electric vehicles, mostly small, also grabbed floor space, but none were from industry majors, who want to take electric cars from eco-concepts to the roads in the next few years and previewed some at last year’s G8 Summit in Hokkaido.

Girasole is attracting the most visitor attention, partly because it’s the only one already on sale, as the electric car showroom is still mainly about prototypes.