4 automakers agree on development of charging infrastructure for electric-powered vehicles


Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co, Honda Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp on Monday announced an agreement to work together to promote the installation of chargers for electric-powered vehicles and build a charging network service that offers more convenience to drivers in Japan.

The move is in recognition of the critical need to swiftly develop charging infrastructure facilities to promote the use of electric-powered vehicles. Assisted by subsidies provided by the Japanese government, the four automakers will bear part of the cost to install the charging facilities. They will also work together to build a convenient and accessible charging network in collaboration with companies that are already providing charging services in which each of the four automakers already have a financial stake.

At present, there are about 1,700 quick chargers and just over 3,000 normal chargers in Japan, which is generally recognized to be insufficient. In addition, the lack of sufficient coordination among existing charging providers can be improved to offer better charging service to customers. The government announced subsidies for installation of charging facilities totaling 100.5 billion yen as part of its economic policy for fiscal year 2013 to quickly develop the charging infrastructure and expand the use of electric-powered vehicles using alternative energy sources.

Currently, each prefecture in Japan is drawing up a vision for the use of the subsidies. With this strong support, the four automakers will work together to install the chargers. Previously, each automaker assessed possible locations for charging facilities on their own. Now, they have agreed to work jointly under the common understanding that the charging infrastructure has public value and that enhancing it should be done quickly during the limited period that the subsidies are available.

Currently, there are three charging methods for electric-powered vehicles: basic charging, where a car is charged at private homes or condominiums; destination charging, where a car is charged at locations such as shopping malls, DIY stores and family restaurants for the return trip home; and en-route charging at locations including expressway roadside service areas, roadside stations (michi no eki), gas stations, and convenience stores. In both destination and en-route charging, normal charging is suitable for longer-duration stops, while quick charging is appropriate for shorter stops.

Under the agreement, the four companies will launch a joint project to work on the following actions:

  1. Promote installation of chargers in Japan

Studies are underway to increase the number of normal chargers up to a total of 8,000 and quick chargers up to a total of 4,000. Normal chargers could be installed in commercial facilities (e.g. large shopping malls, do-it-yourself stores and family restaurants), which are destination charging spots or en-route charging spots with longer duration stops (e.g. highway service areas and roadside stations) when a vehicle could be charged. Quick chargers are to be installed at en-route charging spots for shorter-durations stops (e.g. highway parking areas, convenience stores and gas stations).

  1. Promote charger installation by temporarily bearing part of the installation and maintenance costs

  2. Build a charging infrastructure network which enables customers to use their PHVs, PHEVs and EVs more conveniently

Collaboration among companies currently providing charging services in which each automaker has already invested (Japan Charge Network Co Ltd, Charging Network Development, llc and Toyota Media Service) would lead to the creation of a more convenient charging infrastructure network. One example is enabling the car's owner to charge his or her car at any charging spot with the same card.

  1. Work with government agencies and local governments

Electric-powered vehicles are the driving force of alternative energy initiatives. The government aims to expand the use of the next-generation of these vehicles and have PHVs, PHEVs and EVs achieve a ratio of 15 to 20 percent of new car sales in 2020. The four automakers are committed to developing a charging infrastructure for a more user-friendly infrastructure and to contribute to creating a society where electric-powered vehicle use can maximized.

© JCN Newswire

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This is a good idea. I wish we had more of this kind of coordination in the US.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is a good idea. I wish we had more of this kind of coordination in the US.

Actually, the US has a much better electic vehicle charging infrastructure than Japan, particularly in states like California.

Ironically enough, now that Japan generates nearly all of it's electricity with fossil fuels, electic cars actually generate more greenhouse gases than standard gasoline or diesel powered vehicles.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You do have Tesla motor goals.... you can used non-Tesla stations but you'd pay and it's much slower. So it looks like by next year, you can make it across country by one route anyway. With a 265 mile rage and an hour full charge time for Tesla, it may not be too bad. But a Tesla will set you back $70k to $95K for the performance model. It is quite and can go 120 miles an hour and 60 mph is 4.5 sec.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's about TIME!! This should have been started years ago!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In fact electric vehicles were the usual in the late 1800s in NYC. Electric vehicles generate NO pollution....the electric co.s are always making electricity, anyway.Gasoline engines pollute every second they are running. I wonder why we cannot have steam driven cars now. The current technology could probably eliminate all the earlier disadvantages, like the start up wait. Why can't these electric have solar collectors on the hood, roof, and sides of the cars and constantly be recharging while driving on sunny days? I mean for those who can tolerate the look. A loss of income because less plug in charging would be needed?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Electric vehicles generate NO pollution

LOOOOOL, of course not especially when charged with nuclear or fossil fuel plants (as the case in Japan). Thinking, recently?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Standardized charging stations are nice, but until you can get a full charge in 5 minutes, electric cars will sell only to a niche market.

The real goal should be to have a standardized battery pack for all EVs, that can be switched out at service stations in 5 minutes or less. That is how they'll make EVs universally appealing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someday, we will all be riding horses again...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I live in the city of New York with a population of 13 million, and the majority of cars are parked on the street; where would a driver go and juice up? There is only a minority of drivers that have off street parking and parking lots are another rental agreement. It would be nice if the city would create off street parking recharge stations, or you can run a long extension cord from your apartment on the twenty-first floor apartment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Kristianna ThomasJul. 31, 2013 - 03:49AM JSTI live in the city of New York with a population of 13 million, and the majority of cars are parked on the street; where would a driver go and juice up?

They only way that can be done is for manufacturer install a small portable generator in a trunk of the car and hold about 5-7 gallon of gas (similar to RV), and run the generator when plug ins are not available.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You want a charge in 5 min? What about 90 sec?

The problem with Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi alone doing is, seems like collusion. They really need to invite all players. This is the kind of thing that will get Japan in trouble not only with the TPP but with any trade agreements. They should stick to international standards too. Ford make electric vehicles. But when I talked to Ford, they didn't seem to have any imagination since I asked them about battery swap for their light truck and they did see a need. To me, that was very short sighted since Tesla motors have proved that it is the fastest way to get the customer moving. And what happened to Toyota's RAV4 EVO?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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