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`SUNRISE’ ELECTRIC CAR WILL HAVE ITS DAWN IN 3 YEARS

SHARE `SUNRISE’ ELECTRIC CAR WILL HAVE ITS DAWN IN 3 YEARS

A Massachusetts company Friday unveiled its prototype electric car, a competitively priced vehicle it hopes to put into mass production in three years.

The Solectria Corp.'s "Sunrise" is a four-seater designed to get 120 miles per charge on currently available batteries and sell for under $20,000.The Wilmington, Mass.-based Solectria said its vehicle is made entirely of lightweight, non-metal composite materials and weighs just 1,600 pounds, less than any comparably sized car now on the U.S. market.

All three major U.S. automakers have prototype electric cars, but none has announced firm plans to manufacture them and none makes extensive use of composite materials.

Boston Edison, Dow-United Technologies, Textron Automotive Technology Center and Draper Laboratories have committed more than $5 million for two years of analysis and crash testing.