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Tokyo Electric Power to Set Up 1,000 Recharging Sites For Electric Cars

8 August 2008

Nikkei. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) plans to have up to 200 recharging stations for electric vehicles up and running in the greater Tokyo area in fiscal 2009, with an eye toward expanding the network to 1,000 or so in about three years.

TEPCO has developed a quick-charging system that allows an electric car to run 40 km (25 miles) on a five-minute charge and 60 km (37 miles) on a 10-minute charge. TEPCO plans to start installing the devices to support with the planned launch of electric vehicles by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru automobiles, in fiscal 2009.

Through a partnership with two manufacturers of recharging equipment, TEPCO will work to have the devices installed in such locations as parking facilities. Mitsubishi Motors and Subaru dealerships have already signed on, and major retailer Aeon Co. plans to set up a recharging station at a new shopping mall in Saitama Prefecture.

The recharging stations cost about ¥4 million (US$36,500) each, including construction expenses.

August 8, 2008 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

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Excellent!

I wonder will they have variable cost charging based on electricity usage i.e. 5-7pm 3x normal cost, 11pm - 7am - 1/2x normal cost, rest of day: normal cost.

That would help people charge at sensible times- even if the amounts of money were small (12 KWh @ 15c/KWh), it would send the right signals.

What you want for home, then is a smart, dithered charger which you plug in when you go home, and it decides when to charge, some time after 11pm, but not AT 11pm, 11pm + the last 2 digits of your reg plate * 4 minutes or something like that.

It looks like TEPCO is denying the report. A spokesman said "While it is not wrong that TEPCO has completed demonstration tests for devices that charge batteries, we do not at this time have plans to take the initiative in setting up charging locations within the city."

That's from a Reuters report: http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUST33634020080808

mahonj:

As you said, the amount of money involved for a single 10 to 12 KWh recharge is rather meaningless compared with $4/gal gas.

However, the same recharge repeated every day (or night) would add up and taking advantage of the lower night rates would justify (timed) home recharges. A simple, programmable, 4000 watt/220 VAC, $35 electronic thermostat could be used as an intelligent timer. The start time could be varied at will.

Public recharge stations are a must to pick up (essential) quick charges on the way. Early connection and recharge rate standards will be required.

What you want for home, then is a smart, dithered charger which you plug in when you go home, and it decides when to charge, some time after 11pm, but not AT 11pm, 11pm + the last 2 digits of your reg plate * 4 minutes or something like that.
Utilities already have demand-management systems to control peak loads by varying air conditioner and water heater consumption. Smart meters would be even easier to use for this purpose.

Looks like the first of big utility scrambles to save a fraction of the monopolies they have fatted themselves on the past century. The really good news is the installation of big utility recharge stations will spur productive competition. With the energy playing field rapidly leveling, small business owners (e.g. convenience stores) will have the option to install independent recharge stations.

Since electrons suffer none of the quality issues of hydrocarbon fuels - an independent station can serve up equal quality charging at significant discounts. This is good. For the small business owner, the EV owner, and to remind big utilities that their energy monopoly party is over.

But the party end has the potential to strengthen big utilities, some of whom, having been distributors of corporate good will, can find redemption. Sales and servicing small business and residential independent power systems can be a completely new market for old utilities. Old utilities can become energy innovators by integrating varying power producing components to service vastly different consumers and markets.

And, by competitive pricing (like phone companies) aging utilities can maintain grids in densely populated areas where independent power units and maintenance costs must compete with volume grid pricing and high quality customer service.

Gone will be the days of rude, threatening, arrogant customer service. The dissolution of monopolies injects the stabilizing force of customer *choice* into the market. So when you treat your customer (who pays your salary) poorly - he simply goes down the street to the company who has learned to be respectful and deliver constantly improving technology. THAT is a win win for everyone.

Good luck TEPCO.

Hey, the last time California tried electricity deregulation it was raided by Enron and the ilk blatantly. Seems the industry had pre-inserted loop holes that they could exploit once the deregulation hit.

It seems to me that we would want the electricity providers well regulated to make sure they don't mess up once we push up the demands via electric cars. We can't afford another Enron type event once our country goes full electrification.

Nope. Nothing to do with regulation anymore. No more regulation than is needed for you to put a solar panel on your roof and sell excess back to grid. Big utils can remain fully regulated - just that consumers may choose to produce their own energy. The options to do so grow daily. Photosynth PV systems that store energy as O2, H2, home CH&P systems, low cost high efficiency electrolysis, on-demand H2 gensets, resonant heat pumps etc.

The consumer is finally being given a choice. Buy electric energy from overinflated, inefficient (30% losses), landscape destroying, fossil burning utility companies - or make their own.

The independent energy systems will be little more complex than a home heating/cooling system. They will be certified the same way. They simply add the ability to generate 10kWh+ of electrical energy at far higher efficiency levels than the dirty old grid.

No, the tired old monopolies will remain fully as regulated as before. Just that competition will have arrived, not in another grid, but in the rapid growth of home CHP units. The most visionary companies are focusing on this product line right now. And just at the right time.

BTW, my understanding is the only U.S., Enron utility company was Portland Gas & Electric - in Oregon. The CA utility debacle fell largely on the shoulders of the Grey Davis clan. California voters fired him mid-term.

Very interesting. The danish energy-company DONG is planning something similar in Danmark. The charging stations will work as total battery changing stations; just like at car-wash. When you drive out, you have a new set batteries in your car.

Interesting, when I can see something like that in my city

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