Honda Motor is to start its Electric Vehicle Testing Programme 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 programme, testing vehicles and solar-powered charging stations have made their debut in Japan.

Conducted in what the manufacturer describes as "real-world urban transportation environments," the programme will focus on motorcycles, automobiles and power products based on electromotive technologies.

Honda will start testing in the cities of Saitama, Kumagaya and Chichibu to study 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 will also be evaluated.

Last week Honda announced its US Electric Vehicle Testing Programme at Torrance, California. In addition to Japan and the US, Honda is considering the possibility of conducting a similar programme in China.

Saitama City will focus on urban transportation testing featuring Honda's EVs,  plug-in hybrid vehicles and EV-neo, by partnering with public transportation facilities such as train stations.
Using Kumagaya's suburban metropolitan environment, that city's study will look at the practicality of applying Honda's EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles to a park-and-ride system centred around Kagohara Station.
For Chichibu City, Monpal testing will see it rented to locals and tourists.

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.

Based on the Fit, 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 is more than 160km.
The plug-in hybrid is based on the platform of the Inspire mid-size sedan, featuring a 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine and two high-output electric motors. 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 15km-25 km.
Using the InterNavi Premium Club services, Honda's information network for automobiles, the Japanese company will also test charging station communications. 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.

When away from the test vehicle, customers 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 Centre and set the station destination on the navigation screen.

The navigation system will then guide the customer to the charging destination.