April 19, 2017 2:45 am JST

Japan's GLM aims to be 'the Ferrari of electric vehicles'

Planned luxury G4 model intended to propel company overseas

NATSUKO KATSUKI, Nikkei staff writer

Japanese electric vehicle venture GLM is developing the G4 as a luxury, high-performance model.

OSAKA -- A high-performance luxury electric vehicle under development by Japanese automaker GLM will lead the company's charge into foreign markets.

"I would like to sell the G4 as a showcase of Japanese technology," GLM President Hiroyasu Koma said Tuesday.

The electric vehicle venture aims to begin production of the four-seat G4 model in 2019. The Kyoto University-spawned company will target markets such as Japan, Europe, China and the Middle East, beginning where it obtains permission for the vehicle to operate on public roads.

The G4 will have an electric battery pack and motors, running 400km on one charge. Yet the model also will sport 540 horsepower and achieve acceleration from zero to 100kph in 3.7 seconds.

GLM eyes sales of 1,000 units, with a price tag of 40 million yen ($368,000) -- on par with European and other luxury cars. The G4 will be the automaker's second model, following the Tommy Kaira ZZ electric sports car, which was sold only in Japan.

The automaker's aggressive pricing is deliberate, as the company aims to be "the Ferrari of electric vehicles," said Tomohisa Tanaka, a director at GLM.

"Luxury cars actually have little competition, so it is easier to target that market," said Koma.

GLM is teaming with parts manufacturers to install cutting-edge technologies in areas such as the motors, batteries and vehicle control unit. The G4's price range and limited production make it more feasible for developers to introduce new parts and demonstrate their technology. The automaker plans to work with companies, including those in Europe, to increase production as sales expand.

GLM still faces safety tests and other hurdles. But with Tesla temporarily overtaking General Motors on April 10 as the world's most valuable car company, growing expectations for electric vehicles are providing a tailwind for the Japanese venture as it looks to capitalize on the changes in the automotive industry.

Get Insights on Asia In Your Inbox

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Get your first month for $0.99

Redeemable only through the Subscribe button below

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access (5 articles per month without subscription)
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

We could not renew your subscription.
You need to update your payment information.

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access (5 articles per month without subscription)
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

We could not renew your subscription.
You need to update your payment information.