Honda EV Plus
The Honda EV Plus was the first battery electric vehicle from a major automaker with non-lead acid batteries. Roughly 340 EV Plus models were produced and released. The EV Plus was taken out of production in 1999 when Honda announced the release of its first hybrid electric vehicle, the Honda Insight. The EV Plus was made to meet California Air Resources Board requirements for zero-emission vehicles, the same as General Motors' new EV1. It served as a test bed for the pancake-style motor, electronic control unit, power control unit and NiMh battery later used in Honda hybrids and developed further in the first FCX Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles made from returned EV PLUS chassis.
The EV Plus featured on-board conductive charging with the Avcon connector, passive battery balancing, regenerative braking and deceleration, AC/heat-pump climate control, HID headlights, 4 seats, and electrically heated windshield. Units deployed in cold climates also had oil-fired heaters for faster cabin heating and passenger comfort. As with virtually all vehicles, range was affected by driving style: rapid acceleration, high speeds, and fast stops lowered the range significantly. EPA rated at 125 miles, careful driving would give it a range of just over 100 miles (160 km). The EV Plus came with a 12 V battery for running normal 12 volt accessories and lighting.
The EV Plus was listed with an MSRP of $53,900, but Honda never allowed them to be sold, instead offering the cars on a 3-year, lease-only program for $455.00 mo. Honda allowed some customers to extend their EV Plus lease for a few years. At the end of the leases, all EV Plus cars were taken back by Honda and recycled.