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Report: Aeon To Try Electric Car Battery Chargers At Malls in Japan

Aeon Co., Japan’s leading retailer, is in talks with electric car makers to set up battery chargers for the vehicles at its shopping malls, according to a report in the Nikkei.

Aeon has been negotiating with such automakers as Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and is likely to set up the first charger at Laketown shopping mall in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, they said. Laketown mall is under construction and will open this fall.

...Monitoring the use of the charger at the Koshigaya shopping mall, Aeon and the automakers will consider setting up additional chargers across Japan, the sources added.

...given the limited mileage of electric cars per battery charge—less than 200 kilometers maximum at present—setting up chargers across Japan is necessary as infrastructure for the common use of the cars.

The charger Aeon will install can recharge a vehicle such as the Mitsubishi iMiEV in less than one hour, allowing drivers to recharge while shopping. Recharging using household power will take 7-14 hours.

Comments

Henrik

This is really important and could help accelerate the transition to an all EV transportation infrastructure. The more chargers at public places the more valuable is the short range EVs to their owners. Also note that these chargers are not going to cost much to install for a mall with parking for hundreds or thousands of vehicles. They simply start with one charge station that can serve 4 cars at a time. As more EVs start to appear they install another charger and so forth. The fact that they can advertise with green energy (perhaps free of charge if you spend more than $100, since a 16 kWh fill up will only cost the mall $0.1*16 = $1.6) will also be a real plus that will attract a growing number of customer that thinks this is important.

A bit surprised this is happening so early. I thought it would take much longer. Good news.

PS Another idea would be for GPS map makers to include information on quick charge locations so that it would be easy to find the few places at first that have this opportunity.

HarveyD

The sooner the better.

Adaquate infrastructures (charging stations) must come early to support the first PHEVs and BEVs on the roads by 2009/2010. Otherwise, a BEV would have very limited use.

Israel and Denmark will build national charging station network soon.

Our own roadside restaurants, shopping malls, public parking lots etc should plan to do the same.

An international charging station standard must be developed very soon (before 2010?).

Herm

I see coin operated chargers popping up everywhere, the opportunity to make a buck will be strong :)

I like the idea of an inductive charger under the surface of the parking space.. along with a wireless internet connection to pay for it. Not expensive at all to implement (at the time the mall is built), automatic with no danger or need to use a standard plug.. just park and car starts charging, and the mall starts charging you :)

It would not even have to be under the surface, as long as the pad is not too high, may 2-3 inches at most.. maybe 3x5 feet rectangular. It has to be large to compensate for the air gap.

Herm

You drive up the grocery, park.. suddenly a message pops up on your dashboard.. "Welcome to Publix Mr Perez, Where Your Shopping Dollar Goes Further, enjoy a complimentary recharge (your ongoing shopping credit is 105Kwh).. would you like to see a list of the specials today?, would you like to synchronize your PDA to our list?, dont forget the last time you bought eggs was 30 days ago.."

gr

Herm, I think you're correct. Free charges will abound like free internet to attract customers. Henrik will be happy. Not sure about the inductive plan. They tried that in LA at some groceries for the EV1 but did not get many users. I think the plug-in form factor will be safe and easy enough to keep people plugging in by hand. We pay meters and parking attendants this way already.

arnold

The timing is spot on, and from what we know of the Japanese ability and infatuation with new and Hi-tech,
They are already leading the way in so much - Honda fuel cells, Multiple hybrids in he market place. Skilled workforce. Economy under pressure from developing asian economies.
It's a no brainer.

John Taylor

I have been preaching this Shopping plaza recharge idea for several years now, and am happy to see someone finally implement it.

This really is a nice bit of news and will make the Japanese BEV into a full time #1 transportation choice.

Obviously BEV success in Israel, Denmark and Japan will lead to demand in the rest of the world for this same new technology.

Don

The problem with this as a model for the American system is that it encourages charging when the grid can least handle the load. The American electric grid allegedly can handle a large number of BEVs and PHEVs so long as they charge during current demand troughs - but not if they are trying to charge during current peaks, which include most major shopping hours. The only way this can work in America is if part of the "contract" to charge up at such stations is the agreement to participate in V2G as well. Your car will leave with some minimal increase in charge over some X amount of time but as needed the grid can use your car for short-term demand spikes.

John Taylor

@ Don ~> "The only way this can work in America is if part of the "contract" to charge up at such stations is the agreement to participate in V2G as well."

NO it isn't~!
The first appearance of Electric cars will make a small part of the fleet and not change grid loading much. Most charging will take place in homes at night, with only a public recharge once or twice a month on average. The availability of public recharge changes the car from a "sometimes" car to an "always" car choice.

After BEV sales take off and become a substantial part of the transportation fleet, we will need to make big changes to how power is generated, transported, and stored. The grid will need updated to service the cars, not the cars demoted into servicing the grid.

By the time there are enough electric cars to cause daytime demand problems the energy storage systems will have increased enough so as to minimize the amount of day-time charging needed.

Besides that, shopping centers should have electricity generating parking lots via solar canopies a la the Envision model. http://www.envisionsolar.com/index.php?page=portfolio&id=1

drivin98

By the time there are enough electric cars to cause daytime demand problems the energy storage systems will have increased enough so as to minimize the amount of day-time charging needed.

Besides that, shopping centers should have electricity generating parking lots via solar canopies a la the Envision model. http://www.envisionsolar.com/index.php?page=portfolio&id=1

Adam

Herm: I sympathize with the concept, but that's a nutty idea. Induction from beneath the car strong enough to charge its battery would erase all of the hard drives within probably 20 meters, if not much more, not to mention radio interference, etc. You really need something like the old EV1 port to deliver energy locally enough to avoid major problems.

Reality Czech
They tried that in LA at some groceries for the EV1 but did not get many users.
There were perhaps 1000 EV1's on the road at the peak. It will be different this time.
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