Japan automakers form joint venture to advance electric charging infrastructure: Nippon Charge Service
Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation have jointly established a new company, Nippon Charge Service, LLC, to promote the installation of chargers for plug-in electric vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs, EVs). The goal is to help build a charging network that offers more convenience to drivers in Japan.
The new company will promote the installation of chargers, for the good of society and to expand the use of electric-powered vehicles. Related industries are also expected to benefit. Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ) will support the joint effort of the four automakers by investing in the new company with its “Fund for Japanese Industrial Competitiveness”.
On 12 November 2013, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi jointly announced a plan to assist financially installers of charging stations and began taking applications from prospective charging station installers. Together with Government subsidies the grants will cover the entire cost of installation for successful applicants.
This program targets charging facilities recognized to have high public value under the next-generation vehicle charging infrastructure plans drawn up by local governments and authorities. Financial assistance will be made available to businesses and operations to establish charging spots in key locations, such as at commercial facilities and lodging facilities, as well as en-route charging spots at highway service and parking areas, and convenience stores and service stations on regular roads.
Under the program, a number of commercial facilities, hotels, convenience stores and highways have started installing charging stations. Nippon Charge Service will manage the chargers and the installers of charging stations will be asked to participate in the charging infrastructure network operated by Nippon Charge Service.
Through the new company the four automakers will also provide car owners with a universally-accepted charging card. The system will up and running by the end of the year and will enable convenient access to the chargers operated by the new company.
In the current favorable environment of government subsidies for charger installation, the four automakers are actively encouraging the installation of chargers.