Honda Electric Vehicle Program Enters Next Phase

6/27/1999 6:22:38 AM

Honda's electric vehicle program has entered Phase II, focusing on continued research and customer satisfaction, as the last of about 300 EV PLUS vehicles will be delivered over the next few months.

Honda introduced the first 4-passenger electric vehicle using advanced nickel-metal hydride battery technology in April 1996 with a target production of 300 vehicles.

"The first phase of our electric vehicle program achieved many of the goals we set forth," said Robert Bienenfeld, advanced environmental vehicle marketing manager for American Honda. "We delivered the EV PLUS to the broadest possible range of customers, with about half going to individual consumers."

The Honda EV PLUS is also in use at government, utility and other fleets, and is available for rent in Southern California through Budget Rent a Car. In addition, the EV PLUS is part of Honda's innovative Intelligent Community Vehicle System (ICVS) demonstration car-sharing project with the University of California, Riverside.

"We will continue to support and monitor EV PLUS customers in order to ensure a satisfying ownership experience throughout the life of the program," Bienenfeld said. "In addition, we will evaluate infrastructure issues, battery durability and the impact of changing customer needs on owner satisfaction."

At the same time, Honda continues to research further advances in core electric vehicle technologies, such as batteries, drivetrains and power electronics. Honda's hybrid electric vehicle, which will be the first such vehicle offered in the U.S. when it goes on sale later this year, includes second-generation electric drivetrain and battery management technology developed from EV PLUS technology.