Honda has begun two large-scale plug-in vehicle testing programs with the Japan's Kumamoto and Saitama Prefectures. The programs are similar each other and both aim to get the automaker more information about how people use electric cars.

In Kumamoto, Honda will test "next-generation personal mobility products" like include a variety of vehicles, including: "electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters and electric carts." The first vehicle to be tested is the Monpal ML200 electric cart, which went into service in October. The overall goal of the Kumamoto test is to figure out how practical and convenient plug-in vehicles really are, how effective solar power is as an energy source and what the potential is "to enhance the QOL (quality of life) of residents in local communities."

In Saitama, the plan is nearly identical. In fact, if you read the two press releases (here and here), we dare you to waste your time figuring out the differences. We did find one: the Saitama program will test, "The effectiveness of advanced communications & telematics to enhance customer convenience and product usability" and leaves out the QOL issue. But the overall message comes through loud and clear: Honda is testing plug in vehicles in its home country. Good. Now let us at the Fit EV.

[Source: Honda]

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