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Honda Starts Testing Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles in Japan and US


Honda is spreading its wings above the electric and plug-in hybrid backyard, too. They announced the start of their first field tests of several EV and plug-in hybrids in Japan on Dec. 20.

It looks like the company hesitated a bit in releasing their EVs and next generation of hybrids just because there is still time ahead, and because they want to learn from the competitors’ mistakes and achievements.

Honda showed prototypes of an electric Fit and a plug-in hybrid version of the Inspire sedan. “For expanding the use of EVs, the balance between price and performance is important,” Honda President Takanobu Ito said. “It is still difficult to achieve the balance. But there may be markets in specific regions such as rural areas where there is no service station.”

The field tests will be carried out in the Saitama and Kumamoto prefectures in Japan, and will use five EVs and five PHEVs. There have been news saying that they will also test three of each in the U.S. in the near future. The entire test phase is estimated to last for around two years, a huge time in the car industry. They’ll eventually come up with something better than Nissan’s and GM’s after that much testing.

Green technologies haven’t been forgotten in this scheme. “Supposing that an EV travels 40km per day, we would like to supply electricity to four EVs by using only solar batteries,” Ito said. Charging the battery of the electric car from solar panels is something that has been expected for years.

Maybe by the time of release, the solar power industry and technology will be mature enough to provide decent efficiencies so that you can charge your car while you’re at work.

[via TechOn!]

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