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Electric cars ‘wave of Okinawa’s future’

Date Posted: 2009-10-22

Electric cars are being viewed as the energy business of the future, and the Naha City Chamber of Commerce is leading promotion for the energy efficient vehicles.

An energy committee meeting staged by the Chamber of Commerce and headed by the President of Okinawa Kokusai University predicted the electric vehicles will spread so rapidly in coming years, it’s going to take a special new company with battery speed charging skills to keep up. The committee estimates there will be more than 2,500 electric rental vehicles available within 10 years on Okinawa.

Koichi Kokuba, the Chairman of the Naha Chamber of Commerce, is calling on environmental and tourism businesses to band together to spread the benefits of electric vehicles. “We will make the new business entity of high speed charging maintenance company,” Kokuba says, noting “one rental car company already has electric cars in its fleet.”: By 2020, Kokuba predicts there will be 100 companies in the business, and that electric vehicles will total 2,500 within a decade.

Energy specialists say electric car purchasing costs will drop to the same level as gasoline vehicles by as early as 2014. Okinawa, they say, is a suitable place to start putting high speed battery charging stations in place, because the island’s 120km north-to-south distance makes it easy to use the electric cars. Given current limitations on battery life, they say Okinawa’s just the right size to maneuver around on a single battery charge.

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