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Honda, Toyota to roll out fuel-cell cars in 2015: Nikkei

Workers stand under the logo of Honda Motor Co. outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Workers stand under the logo of Honda Motor Co. outside the company's headquarters in Tokyo October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Issei Kato

(Reuters) - Honda Motor Co Ltd <7267.T> and Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> plan to launch fuel-cell vehicles in the consumer market in 2015, with each producing about 1,000 eco-friendly cars a year, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

The automakers now offer fuel-cell cars on lease, with users centering on municipalities and businesses, the daily said.

Initial prices of these zero-emission vehicles, which cover longer distances than electric cars, will set below 10 million yen ($97,700), the Nikkei said.

Honda is developing a sedan that it plans to roll out as early as November 2015, which will be able to travel about 500 kilometer on a single charge -- twice the range of an electric vehicle, the Nikkei reported.

Honda intends to churn out 5,000 units over five years, selling them in Japan, the United States and Europe, the daily said.

Toyota, the global leader in hybrid vehicles, intends to release a sedan in Japan, the United States and Europe in 2015, the Nikkei said, adding that by 2020, the automaker aims to lift annual output to tens of thousands of units.

Toyota hopes to cut prices to between 3-5 million yen ($29,300-$48,900) in the 2020s, the Nikkei said, quoting an unnamed development staffer.

Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of rival Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co <7201.T>, said in November carmakers would face obstacles in their plans to launch fuel-cell car sales over the next few years.

($1 = 102.32 Japanese Yen)

(Reporting By Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore)

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