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Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003

U.S. southeast interested in hydrogen cars


Staff writer

OSAKA -- A two-day meeting here between government and business representatives from seven U.S. states and Japan concluded Tuesday with discussion focusing on the future of the auto industry, especially the introduction of hydrogen fuel cells.

In response to a question from the floor about the future of hydrogen-cell-powered cars in the United States and Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. President Fujio Cho said it would be a while before consumers will be able to pull into their local filling station and refuel their hydrogen-powered cars.

"There is no doubt hybrid cars are becoming more popular in Japan and America, especially over the past couple of years," Cho said.

"Discussion among both the Japanese and American governments about how to introduce a supply infrastructure that services these kinds of cars is very important."

He added, however, that the technology is new, so such infrastructure is still sometime down the road.

Cho's comments came at the conclusion of the 27th annual meeting between Japan and the business and political leaders of the U.S. southeastern states of Virginia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Many of the states have huge amounts of investment from the Japanese auto industry.



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The Japan Times

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