Idemitsu Plans to Sell Electric Vehicles This Year, Nikkei Says

Japanese oil company Idemitsu Kosan Co. plans to market an electric vehicle this year, making it the first non-carmaking company in the country to step into the market, the Nikkei newspaper reported Sunday, without citing sources.

Idemitsu has partnered with Tajima Motor Corp. to build a four-passenger car that can travel as fast as 60 kilometers per hour (37 mph), the report said. The car will be 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) long and 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) wide. It will cost between 1 million-1.5 million yen ($9,500-$14,300), Nikkei reported.

The venture will source batteries from abroad, the paper said, without citing company names. It plans to sell the cars at gas stations and to companies that operate car-sharing services.

The Japanese government has been promoting the use of electric vehicles and aims for a carbon-neutral society by 2050, the Nikkei said.

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