Honda's EV Pull-Out to be Examined by CARB?
From Calstart 04/29/1999
Sacramento, Calif. - After Honda Motor Corp. quietly quit building its 'EV
Plus' battery-electric car to begin producing hybrid-electric 'V V' cars (News
Notes 4/26/99*), a California Air Resources Board (CARB) official said the
action could be a violation of Honda's compromise zero-emission-vehicle
agreement, reports the Los Angeles Times. Tom Cackette, CARB's chief deputy
director, said, 'We're highly disappointed in Honda. We are concerned that this
violates their agreement with the board to continue to produce battery-electric
vehicles if customer demand warrants it' - and said the board will investigate.
Honda officials, in return, said they complied with 'both the letter and spirit
of the agreement.' While Honda claims it was unsuccessful in developing demand
for its EV Plus, some critics say the car was never seriously marketed, supplies
to dealers were limited and harsh leasing requirements were imposed to restrict
sales. Meanwhile, General Motors, Ford, Toyota, DaimlerChrysler and Nissan say
they will continue developing battery-electric EVs while pursuing other
technologies such as hybrids and fuel-cell hybrids.
*04/26/1999 - Honda Drops 'EV Plus' to Start Building Hybrid
Torrance, Calif. - Honda Motor Co. announced today it is ceasing
production of its 'EV Plus' electric car and will begin building its
hybrid-electric 'V V' passenger car that goes on sale in the U.S. later this
year. Honda said it had already built and will deliver 300 EV Plus cars within
the next few weeks - the number it agreed to in a compromise agreement with the
California Air Resources Board when it postponed its 1998 zero-emission vehicle
(ZEV) requirements to 2003. Following the 1996 agreement, CARB further relaxed
its rules to grant ZEV credits for other types of electric vehicles, including
hybrids (News Notes 7/7/98). Honda's 'V V' hybrid, expected to be the first
hybrid-electric car offered in the U.S., reportedly incorporates
second-generation electric drivetrain and battery-management technology
developed with information gleaned from Honda's EV Plus test program. Of the 300
EV Plus vehicles, about half went to private individuals, the others to fleet
and utility customers.