Honda tests solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles
Honda announced that vehicle charging stations will be part of a Japanese trail to further Honda’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions through their products.
The trail will include Honda’s electric vehicles (EVs) including the Fit and Accord, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, (PHEVs), the new EV-neo electric scooter and the Monpal ML200 4-wheel electric scooter.
A current drawback of EVs and PHEVs includes the lengthy charging times. Honda’s Fit EV Concept can be driven for 160 km before it needs to be recharged. According to Honda, it takes less than six hours to charge using a 200-volt power source.
Honda’s PHEV model combines an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery and an internal combustion engine. It can run as a fully-electric vehicle, a gas-electric hybrid, or as a gas-powered vehicle. In the all-electric mode, the vehicle can be driven 15 to 25 km before needing to recharge. Fully recharging the battery would take about 1.5 hours using a 200-volt outlet.
While it may be simple to charge an EV overnight in the garage, not everyone has a garage or access to an easily-accessible power source. Not to mention that it would be difficult to refuel in the middle of a trip. With stations that offer faster charging at higher voltages, it could allow drivers to gain full advantage of their EVs and PHEVs. Customers would be able to drive their cars for longer periods of time and go greater distances, and reduce their PHEV’s gasoline usage.
Honda will also test a communications system that allows drivers to search for the charging stations. The system will allow drivers to view how much charge the EV has left, and show a map that drivers can follow to the nearest charging station using either a smartphone or the built-in car navigation program.