• Dec 30th 2010 at 1:06PM
  • 6

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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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is just PR to cover up how late Honda is.

      "The overall goal of the Kumamoto test is to figure out how practical and convenient plug-in vehicles really are"
      EVERYONE knows they're practical and convenient for some. Honda could ask their employees whose families already have a Leaf or i-MiEV how they like them. Or read the many reports from EV trials all over the world. Or give a thousand Japanese GPS for their cars and see how and when they would run out of EV range.

      "how effective solar power is as an energy source"
      That is unrelated to electric cars and a distraction for Honda.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Monpal ML200 electric cart? Sounds like a typical NEV with limited speed and range. If that is what Honda plans to start with their testing, perhaps someone at Honda wants their EV program to fail. A lot depends on how quickly they start testing a higher performance EV like the planned Fit EV, if they dawdle too long they might just miss the coming EV revolution.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That only mean that they are not putting for sale electric cars because it replace petrol.
      the japanese police are checking honda carrefully and inspecting them. Honda should not sale any alternative green car to anyone because barack obama could be fire out of presidency by his boss's. If one green car is been putting for sale for cash the boss of barack will destroy the value of the dollar and only gold will have dollar value.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey gorr.
        What are you smoking? honestly?
        I mean I smoke sometimes dope, but i would NEVER come up with such an wierd confuse posting.

        the boss of barack... WHAT? Oh the anons, or Illuminate, how could I forgot the internet evil superorganisation.

        Now back to the topic.
        Nice to see that Hondas new ceo finally got it.

        Oh and the new plug-in accord wil no longer feature the IMA.
        Honda now uses a planetary gearset with 2 elec motors and one combustion.
        Funny to see that they are all using a similar system like the THS.

        here look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAlT3hFOIYc
        this will be a competitor to the prius plug in. Honda will also use a 2 liter atkinson motor.

        also interesting:

      • 4 Years Ago
      The mighty fuel cell hold-out capitulates.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Honda credits their FCV research with allowing them to put together a plug-in EV as quickly as they have with the Fit EV. It's nice to see Honda looking more towards that tech, but in no way does it diminish their goal of commercializing FCVs. Honda is on a similar path as the other automakers who realize that a variety of EVs will be needed to replace the ubiquitous ICE: pure BEVs, PHEVs, and FCVs will all make up the future automotive marketplace.

        "Honda's long history with electromotive technologies has enabled us to understand customer requirements," said Takanobu Ito, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO. "In Honda's view, an electric vehicle must offer great utility and be fun to drive. Fit EV's urban commuting capability will be a perfect addition to the full-function mobility of the plug-in hybrid and FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle."

        "Honda will launch an Advanced Technology Demonstration Program this year to provide real-world testing of its new vehicles, as well as research into customer behavior and usability, public charging infrastructure planning and sustainability initiatives. Partners in the program will include Stanford University, City of Torrance, Calif. and Google, Inc."


        Kudos to Honda for all their research into various EV technologies!
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