Honda hasn’t publicly tinkered on an electric car program for quite some time. But as the technology continues to garner traction in the automotive industry, speculation suggests the Japanese automaker will make a late return to the segment in the near future.
Without citing a source, the Japanese Nikkei newspaper reported last week that Honda is developing an electric car that will debut in the U.S. market by 2015. A spokesperson for Honda said that the company is developing an electric car, but has not decided when to launch the final product.
Although Nikkei reported that a prototype would debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Honda spokesperson would not comment on the speculative Frankfurt appearance or the report. Nikkei says Honda’s electric vehicle will be a minicar.
Honda is just one of the many automakers turning to electric vehicles to help them meet stringent new U.S. fuel economy and emissions rules. Next year, General Motors and Nissan will unveil the first truly mass-market electric cars, the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.