With gas at more than three dollars a gallon and more people concerned about global warming, electric vehicles have found a new surge of popularity. Everyone from Olympic officials to our very own Tech editor Tracy Staedter has tested out the Chevy Volt. The major hurdle for electric cars is that the infrastructure to support them doesn’t exist yet.
But Honda is one of the companies trying to change that, as they have begun trial testing an electric vehicle charging station that is powered by solar energy.
When car companies first began discussing electric vehicles, they planned to substitute one fossil fuel for another by using coal to generate electricity to power the vehicles, instead of gasoline. But using renewable energy to power electric vehicles will cut down on the carbon emissions created in the process.
Honda will begin its Electric Vehicle Testing Program in three Japanese cities. The project is a collaboration with Saitama Prefecture on environmental issues, according to Gizmag. The two companies hope to achieve what they call “Total Energy Management,” a system that supplies households and communities with energy for personal use, while supporting a comfortable, low-carbon lifestyle.
The program isn’t just for electric vehicles, but also plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric scooters, and electric carts. Honda will monitor how effective the charging station is at generating electricity, and ways to improve the convenience and usability of the charging station for customers.
Honda hopes to have electric vehicle charging stations in the United States, but it hasn’t released a timeline of when it hopes to do that by. For the sake of settling the question of which electric vehicle is better, the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt, let’s hope this technology gets stateside soon.