A former Japanese race car driver has designed a new kind of electric car, called the Electric Sunflower. Via, the United Nations University’s new webzine Our World 2.0.


The electric sunflower from UNUChannel on Vimeo.

As the video notes, the electric sunflower is selling fairly poorly for the moment. That said, they are looking to March 20009 when a new government subsidy kicks in.

Where EVs are concerned, one of the most forward thinking prefectures in Japan is Kanagawa, which will start in March 2009 to provide a subsidy of about half that of the national government (i.e., ¥300,000), making EVs truly more price competitive.

Kanagawa prefecture also has a plan to ensure that there are 3000 EVs on local streets by fiscal year 2014. This includes a range of measures to promote EVs, such as subsidies, lower taxes, plus reduced parking fees and expressway tolls. The electric charging infrastructure will be further developed with “quick chargers” installed in 30 locations by 2010, aiming for 1,000 charging outlets of 100 and 200 volts within the prefecture by 2014.

It’s amazing to consider the extent to which truly local policies like parking and toll fees can have a global impact.

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