December 20, 2010 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced its plan to start its Electric Vehicle Testing Program with Saitama Prefecture for its next-generation personal mobility products, including electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters, and electric carts. The specifics of the testing program, testing vehicles, and solar-powered charging stations made their public debut in Japan.
Conducted in real-world urban transportation environments, the program will focus on motorcycles, automobiles and power products based on electromotive technologies. The comprehensive program will also use advanced communications & telematics and solar-powered charging technologies to explore future forms of personal mobility and their potential of CO2 emissions reduction.
Major objectives of the Electric Vehicle Testing Program
In March 2009, Honda and Saitama Prefecture concluded an agreement to collaborate on environmental issues. Based on this agreement, Honda will start an Electric Vehicle Testing Program in the cities of Saitama, Kumagaya and Chichibu that features advanced electromotive technology and communications & telematics to realize a low-carbon mobility society in the future. The program will study the following:
- The practicality and convenience of electromotive technology featured on next-generation personal mobility products, including Honda's EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles, the EV-neo electric scooter and the Monpal ML200 4-wheel electric cart.
- The effectiveness of solar power generation and other renewable energy sources in helping to realize a low-carbon mobility society.
- The effectiveness of advanced communications & telematics to enhance customer convenience and product usability.
Based on the results of the program, Honda plans to further advance its electromotive technologies for personal mobility products. In combination with Honda's strong position in solar panels, cogeneration systems and other energy-generating products, these electromotive technologies will help Honda work together with customers to achieve the goal of "Total Energy Management", a system that supplies households and communities with energy for personal use, while supporting a comfortable, low-carbon lifestyle.
Earlier on December 15, 2010, Honda announced this Electric Vehicle Testing Program in the United States (Torrance, California). In addition to Japan and the United States, Honda is considering the possibility of conducting a similar program in China.
Electric Vehicle Testing Program in Saitama Prefecture
Honda will implement an Electric Vehicle Testing Program that explores the roles of next-generation personal mobility products in urban, suburban, tourist-focused and other types of traffic environments, in the cities of Saitama, Kumagaya and Chichibu. The following are the program objectives for each city:
- Urban transportation testing featuring Honda's EVs, plug-in hybrid vehicles and EV-neo, by partnering with public transportation facilities such as train stations.
- Study the low noise impact of electric vehicles in residential neighborhoods.
- Using Kumagaya's suburban metropolitan environment, study the practicality of applying Honda's EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles to a park-and-ride system centered around Kagohara Station.
- Working alongside Chichibu's city enhancement plan through local citizen cooperation, conduct studies to increase use of electromotive mobility opportunities and its convenience by renting out Monpal to citizens and tourists.
Electric Vehicle Testing Program vehicles
In addition to zero-emission electric vehicles, scooters and carts, testing will include Honda's plug-in hybrid vehicles, which combine a gasoline engine with two high-output electric motors.
Electric vehicle (EV):
Based on the popular Fit that is known for its compact, maneuverable body and superior utility, this vehicle features a coaxial motor and other electromotive technologies developed for the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, combined with a Toshiba-produced lithium-ion battery. Charging with a 200-volt power source takes less than six hours, and vehicle driving range exceeds 160 km.
Plug-in hybrid vehicle:
Based on the platform of the Inspire mid-size sedan, this vehicle features a fuel-efficient 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine and two high-output electric motors, specially developed for this system. The vehicle can be operated in three drive modes: all-electric, gasoline-electric hybrid and engine drive modes. The lithium-ion battery is manufactured by Blue Energy and its all-electric mode driving range can achieve up to 15 to 25 km.
Electric scooter (EV-neo):
This electric scooter, which will start a lease sales program on December 24th to companies that make short-range deliveries and also to individual business owners, will receive custom coloring as a testing vehicle.
Electric Cart (Monpal ML200):
Firstly launched in 2006, this stylish, comfortable and easy-to-ride 4-wheel electric cart with great stability, will also be used as a testing vehicle.