The pilot programme, at Mendrisio, starts in December and is being backed by the Swiss Confederation. It will involve a total of 350 Honda EV Plus cars by 2001. As in California, where Honda's EV was introduced early this year, the Swiss pilot will include maintenance and assistance with monthly payments over three-year periods. The car uses advanced nickel metal hydride batteries, has a 66bhp output and torque comparable to that of a three-litre, six-cylinder petrol engine. It has a range of 200km.