The theme of the 2009 Tokyo Auto Show 2009 is “Fun Driving for Us, Eco Driving for Earth.” So, it’s no surprise that Japan’s biggest automakers—Toyota, Nissan and Honda—will be rolling out their funky futuristic networked electric cars. The show opens to the public on Oct. 24.

Nissan Land Glider electric concept

While falling behind on hybrids, Nissan is taking the lead on electric cars. The company will show the Nissan Leaf, which will make its US debut in late 2010. But Nissan will also display a concept two-seat electric car called the Land Glider. The cocoon-shaped vehicle is 10 feet long, three-and-a-half feet wide, and can lean as much as 17 degrees when turning corners. According to Nissan, the ultra-compact, ultra-lightweight, ultra-narrow Land Glider has a potential to become a new means of transportation in urban areas, reducing traffic and parking congestion.

Honda EV-N small electric car concept

Honda will show a near-ready production version of its CR-Z hybrid—as the company follows its strategy of focusing on small and affordable hybrids like the Honda Insight. The company also gazes into the future when cities will be more congested and more networked. Honda will display the EV-N design study—a small, four-seat battery-electric vehicle that combines Internet-age technology and retro-1960s style. The Honda EV-N uses solar cells in the roof, and a wireless communication system for traffic and EV charging station info. The EV-N’s door conveniently stores the Honda U3-X, its quirky electric unicycle that can move in any direction when the driver leans in the intended direction.

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