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Japanese car manufacturer Honda Motor says it hopes to go a deeper shade of green with its next generation of electric vehicles and solar rechargeable stations. The company gave news media a preview of the new technology on Monday with a demonstration at its research facility on the outskirts of Tokyo. Here's that report.
Honda Motor says it's looking to create a solar energy-based transportation system to support its two and four-wheeled electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. It's a lineup the company calls "personal mobility."
It's conducting a series of tests with the local government of Saitama, Japan. Honda hopes to establish the viability of its electric vehicles and solar-powered recharging stations for everyday use on a national scale.
The slick 10 kilowatt solar-panel-roofed station, which can power four EVs simultaneously for a day of use, was designed by Honda for its EV lineup. Even the solar panels are made by Honda.
Fujimoto said a smart-phone application that monitors the vehicle's power capacity also adds convenience to drivers.
[Sachito Fujimoto, Senior Chief Engineer, Honda]:
"Using a smart phone, drivers can check the remaining power in the batteries or reachable distance with it."
A new plug-in two-wheeler the "EV-neo" and a motorcart, "MONPAL ML200" were also unveiled. They too will be rechargeable using the same system.
Honda's CEO hopes the test project will secure Honda's green credentials.
[Takanobu Ito, CEO, Honda]:
"Based on the result of this experiment, putting together with Honda's two-wheel, four-wheel and motorcart technologies, and enabling households to be able to generate and store electricity to recharge vehicles with high efficiency, Honda will pursue its 'total power management' scheme."
Honda will take its experiments to the U.S. and China as a part of its scheme early in the New Year.