honda-solar-chargeFormer EV-laggard Honda is pushing the leading-edge of solar-charged driving with plans to trial a solar-powered public EV charging station and conduct testing of a range of electric vehicles and technologies in real-world urban transportation environments, starting with Japan, according to a Gizmag.com story.

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Honda’s Electric Vehicle Testing Program will start in the Japanese cities of Saitama, Kumagaya and Chichibu after an agreement reached in 2009 between Honda and Saitama Prefecture to collaborate on environmental issues, reports Gizmag. The ultimate goal for the program is to achieve what Honda calls “Total Energy Management” — a system that supplies households and communities with energy for personal use, while supporting a comfortable, low-carbon lifestyle.

The program will include EVs, plug-in hybrid vehicles, the EV-neo electric scooter and the Monpal ML200 4-wheel electric cart, reports Gizmag.com. It will also examine the effectiveness of solar power generation and other renewable energy sources along with the capability for advanced communications and telematics to improve the convenience and usability of electric vehicles for consumers.

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