Japanese automakers have had a tough few years due to the strong yen, image problems from Toyota's massive recalls and the large production disruptions from the March disasters in northeastern Japan. But green technology remains a strong selling point for car makers such as Toyota Motor Corp. which pioneered broad consumer acceptance of gasoline-electric hybrid cars with its hit Prius.
Honda Motor Co. said it will start selling an electric version of its Fit subcompact in the U.S. and Japan by the middle of next year. It showed concept cars such as the AC-X plug-in hybrid, EV-STER electric roadster convertible and a tiny electric car called Micro Commuter
"We will continue to offer products with an edge," said Honda President Takanobu Ito before drinking orange juice poured by Honda's Asimo robot, which recently has gained more nimble human-like fingers.
Honda showed a portable battery that people could carry around and put not only in their electric cars and plug-ins but also in small electric scooters.
Nissan Motor Co. had an updated version of its futuristic-looking electric car called Pivo 3, which can drive itself, find parking spaces and swerve around in almost a complete circle.