The Honda EV Plus was the first production battery electric vehicle from a major automaker with non lead acid batteries. Only 300 or so EV Plus models were produced and released. The EV Plus was taken out of production in 1999 in order for Honda to work on its hybrid electric vehicles such as the Honda Insight. The EV Plus was made to keep up with General Motors' new EV1.
The EV Plus featured two different driving modes; regular and economy, in the regular mode the EV had much better performance, acceleration, and all around power. While the economy mode took away a lot of the power, it was used for getting the most mileage out of the EV. As with virtually all vehicles, range was significantly affected by driving style: rapid acceleration, higher speeds, and fast stops lowered the range. Careful driving in economy mode would give it a range of about 80–110 miles (130–180 km). The EV comes with a 12 V battery for running accessories, to help save power from the main drive batteries.
EV Plus Specs
- Track Front/Rear: 59.1 in/58.7 in (1.50 m/1.49 m)
- Drive Train: Front Wheel Drive
- Occupants: Four
- Voltage: 288 V
- Motor: DC Brushless
- Power: 49 kW (66 hp)
- Battery 24 12 V NiMH
- Charger: On-board Conductive
- Recharge: 6-8 h
- Acceleration: 4.9 s (0-30 mph)
- Maximum Speed: 80+ mph (130 km/h)
- Range: 100 miles or 160 km (80% discharge). Up to 120 miles (190 km) range under ideal conditions.
- Lease Cost: $455/mo for 36 mo.
The EV cost $53,000 which was pretty expensive to purchase outright, although leasing the vehicle would net a large discount. Honda used this lease program to attract drivers.
Lease vehicles also featured:
- compact disc player|CD player
- Power windows
- Power door locks
- Air conditioning
Since the end of the lease program all Honda EV Plus models were recovered and most of them have since been destroyed. However, the chassis for the EV Plus has been used as a base for Honda's hydrogen fuel cell prototype, the Honda FCX.