AUTOS

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Edison, PG&E; to Test Japanese Electric Cars: In the first road tests by U.S. utilities of Japanese-designed electric vehicles, Southern California Edison Co. and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. have confirmed that they will test a small number of Honda Civics converted to run on electricity. Edison will get two Honda vehicles. The Japanese auto makers' progress toward meeting the 1998 mandate for introducing zero-emission vehicles--almost certainly electric cars--into California showrooms has largely remained secretive, although they joined Detroit auto makers in opposing the mandate. Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota must join General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in meeting the deadline.

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