Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988

The Challenge of Zero Emissions for the 21st Century

Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988

"It all began with a debate concerning the feasibility of solar power."

"An electric vehicle (EV) running on solar power?" thought Junichi Araki, LPL of the first-generation EV basic research team. "Maybe the time is right for alternative fuel cars to be running all over town." He had just read a magazine article describing the exploits of the General Motors Sun Racer, the solar car that had taken the first place at the inaugural World Solar Challenge (WSC) race held in Australia in November 1987.

Photo

Honda EV Plus cruises the streets of America. This advanced electric car offers the dynamic performance of a gasoline-powered car, along with all the comforts one expects of a Honda.

Several managers in charge of research at Honda R&D Center had recently held a meeting, in which they debated the types of research that they should conduct for the coming 21st century. The meeting was an important one, since their target was to be an age of "clean energy." They were well aware that they were working well in advance of the time when the world's available petroleum reserves would dry up, so all those in attendance shared Araki's sentiments about alternative energy vehicles.

Several issues were discussed during the meeting. However, overall the participants were mindful of the fact that electric vehicles had fewer parts than conventional vehicles, and this prompted them to look into the possibility that their EV (electric vehicle) could be an automobile easily manufactured anywhere in the world. The meeting also led them to reconfirm the necessity of enhancing technology with regard to the internal combustion engine, such as improving gas mileage and reducing emissions. Therefore, they would dedicate their future product deve-lopment efforts to the protection of the environment.

"Electric operation was the most likely candidate, in terms of alternative power," Araki recalled. "However, Honda had no previous experience with electric powerplants. Also, at the time not much research was being done with regard to alternative-fuel vehicles. Therefore, we decided to take up the challenge of making an electric vehicle. We also considered participating in the WSC, simply because we knew the harsh conditions of such a race would enable us to produce our technology even more quickly."

The research and development of electric vehicles got under way at Honda in April 1988, through basic debates like this one. It started out fairly small, with a staff of only four, however, basic research was now under way.

The Challenging Spirit of Honda

A System that Fosters Expertise
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  2. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
  3. Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification  / 1960Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
A Dream Come True: Car Builder for the World
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  2. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  3. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  4. Introducing N360 / 1967Introducing N360 / 1967
  5. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  6. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  7. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  8. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
Marketing Globally, Producing Lacally
  1. Marketing Globally, Producing LocallyMarketing Globally, Producing Locally
  2. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959
  3. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  4. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
A Refreshing New Development
  1. A Refreshing New DevelopmentA Refreshing New Development
Products Emerging From Technology and Innovation
  1. Products Emerging From Technology and InnovationProducts Emerging From Technology and Innovation
  2. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  7. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  8. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  9. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  10. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  11. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  12. Road Pal / 1976Road Pal / 1976
  13. City / 1981City / 1981
  14. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
  15. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  16. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  17. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  18. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  19. The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
Production Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufacturing
  1. Production Technology: The Essence of Creative ManufaturingProduction Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufaturing
  2. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  3. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  4. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  5. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
A Neverending Passion for Racing
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  2. Completion of Suzuka Circuit / 1962Completion of Suzuka Circuit / 1962
  3. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  4. Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964
  5. Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983
  6. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  7. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
Creativity - The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
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  2. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
People and Society Coexisting in Harmony with Nature
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  2. Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992
  3. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  4. Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991

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