Japanese carmakers Honda and Toyota have unveiled the eco-friendly concept cars they will put on display at this month’s Tokyo Motor Show.
Honda’s SkyDeck concept vehicle is based on the Honda Insight, which went on sale recently trying to challenge Toyota’s dominance in the petrol-electric hybrid sector with the Prius. Honda designer Shinya Uchiyama said: “The battery that is under the boot in the Insight we’ve moved to the centre of the car, freeing up space at the back. We’ve also improved the car’s performance and balance by placing the heavy battery in the middle.” Amid the worldwide slump in car sales, which has devastated the industry, hybrid vehicles, which use less fuel, have proved to be a bright spot with Honda and Toyota seeing strong demand for their latest models. Honda, which has concentrated on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as the greenest option for the future, has now said it will look at developing purely electric cars because of slow progress in setting up hydrogen fuelling stations. At the Tokyo event, Toyota will show off the EV-II, a compact electric vehicle designed for short distances, with a joystick rather than a steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedals.