Honda to Start Electric Car Testing Program

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:

Saitama 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.

Kumagaya City
— 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.

Chichibu City
— 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.

Solar-powered charging station

Located inside Honda’s Wako Headquarters Campus in Saitama Prefecture, this charging station features a solar-powered generating system manufactured by Honda Soltec. Honda will use the station in combination with advanced communications & telematics to test a wide variety of program objectives.

Advanced communications & telematics

Using the InterNavi Premium Club services, Honda’s information network for automobiles, Honda will test charging station communications to improve customer convenience and safety. Using this support tool, a customer can search for charging stations, set destinations, confirm various vehicle conditions and access other information by using either a smartphone or a car navigation screen.

Charging support service

Even when away from the test vehicle, a customer can view a map on their smartphone of how far the vehicle can drive on its remaining battery charge, and also search for charging stations within that area. The customer can then select a charging station from the search results, forward the station information to the vehicle via InterNavi Information Center, and set the station destination on the navigation screen. The navigation system will then guide the customer to the charging destination.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (TSE:7267/NYSE:HMC/LSE:HNDA.L) is one of the leading manufacturers of automobiles and power products and the largest manufacture of motorcycles in the world. Honda has always sought to provide genuine satisfaction to people worldwide. The result is more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 30 countries worldwide, producing a wide range of products, including motorcycles, ATVs, generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment and automobiles that bring the company into contact with over 19 million customers annually.