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Green Crossover Project in Japan Showcases Li-ion Stationary Storage for EV Charging; EnerDel Providing Packs for Vehicles and Stationary Storage

Itochu Corporation, Mazda, Family Mart, EnerDel and 11 other partners have launched a 3-year project in Tsukuba City, Japan—the “Green Crossover Project”—designed to showcase a real-world integration of the smart grid, stationary lithium-ion grid storage, electric vehicles, rapid recharging and renewable energy technologies. (Earlier post.)

The project will serve as an exhibition of an advanced direct current rapid recharge system, as well as a secondary use model for in-vehicle batteries. Three Mazda Demios (sold outside of Japan as the Mazda2), have been converted to a battery electric drive powered by EnerDel Li-ion battery packs. The project uses a 24-kilowatt-hour fixed storage EnerDel battery pack, originally designed for the THINK City electric vehicle.

Family Mart convenience stores will be equipped for car-sharing of the EVs, along with solar power generating systems, highspeed recharging stations, a billing mechanism using a non-contract IC-imbedded smart card, terminals for remote battery monitoring of charging, discharging, wear data, and the stationary battery array used to move energy to and from the electric grid.

The combination of on-site battery storage with rapid re-charging allows for the use of direct current throughout the system, sharply reducing the amount of time needed to charge a vehicle. It also allows drivers to recharge the car without drawing power from the grid, an advantage at peak load times.

Separately, the Nikkei had reported that JFE Engineering Corp. has developed a rapid charging system also using Li-ion storage that can recharge an EV’s pack halfway in three minutes, given the required software changes and equipment adjustments to the car.

Other Green Crossover partners include Tokyo R&D Co., Ltd, which did the EV modifications; THINK, which provided parts; Kyuki Inc., which provided the rapid chargers; Japan Eco System Co. Ltd, which provided the photovoltaic systems; and Wind Car, Inc., which is providing the car sharing operation.

The advisory committee for the project includes Tsukuba City; Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology; Japan Automobile Research Institute, and Japan Research Institute Ltd.



People drive an average of 40 miles a day in US. EVs shouldn't have to carry the dead weight of a 300 mile battery pack all the time. The batteries should be easy to remove and keep in the house until a longer trip requires installation in the vehicle. While they are in the home, they can be charged at night, at low current, when the rates are cheaper. The batteries in the car can be charged directly from the stationary batteries. This would require a lot of current, 800-1000 amps @ 220 V for a 10 minute charge to a 25 kwh battery, but would not affect the grid. So it could be done when you get home, paying low rates for grid power, and not overloading the grid at peak demand time.


Ideally, very quick charge public (DC) stations, in sunny places along desert land highways, would not have to be connected to the grid if equipped with enough solar cells** to supply the station with enough energy. The grid connection (or a local APU) could supply back-up power during rainy days and accept surplus sun energy during very sunny days.

** A Chinese manufacturer is currently selling PV at under $1/W and is planning on $0.50/W by 2012/13. A 200KW PV array (about $200K by 2013 including $60K for batteries and $40K for installation) could produce about 1200 KWh/day or enough for about 100 quick charges/day. The size or number of stations could be increased to meet growing demands. Such station could be 100% automated with no on-going labor cost, similar to automated parking lots. Quick charge energy would have to sell at $0.50+ KWh to recover the initial investments within 10 to 15 years unless generous (50+% of initial cost) government subsidies are used.


The easiest way to give your BEV extra batteries for longer trips but keep them at home as a grid buffer when you're only driving short trips is to put the extra batteries in a trailer. That way they'd be on wheels when you need to move them around at home and you wouldn't need to lift them into your car for installation when you need them, just hitch the trailer up to the back of your car. Even better, this way instead of the extra batteries taking away storage space inside the car when you'll most likely need it for the longer trip you can gain additional space from the trailer.

What I'm suggesting is something like this but on this scale.


I don't follow your figures. I had done the same exercise using actual cost figures for present pv arrays of $5kw peak installed, so you are talking of $1 million for the array.
There would be no need to make it fully automated as the shops in garages pay for the staff.
Over 5 years at 12kwh for the average charge and 100 charges/day you are selling ~2million kwh.
Normally you amortize commercial plant over around 6-7 years, so it would not seem difficult to pay for the equipment comfortably in much less time than you suggest at, say, around 40cents/kwh, so you are typically handing over $5 charge even with the much higher confirmed costs I have used.
These figures though are heavily dependent on it actually being a sunny region, so think Arizona.
There will always be someone daft enough to build these, in, say, upstate New York and be surprised when the car won't charge in the winter.


Davemart - If you meant $5/W, you can buy Solar panels at retail price from Sun Electronics www.sunelec.com for less than $2/W. They have small grid tie systems for less than $2/W also. Nanosolar is printing PV cells with 15% efficiency with ink on aluminum sheets for less than $1/W. PV panels were $5/W two years ago. To me the price seems to be dropping like a rock (or lead acid battery). In CA, you wouldn't need a grid tie system, just a bank of stationary batteries charged by direct current from the PV array. That's a good bet for a state with 10% of the US population.


I based my cost figures on this:
'W.J. Beitler Co. will receive a $347,200 grant to install a 217.14KW rooftop PV system at the company's facility in Pittsburgh. The installation will generate 235,597KWhr of electricity per year and save $30,000 in energy costs annually. Total project cost is $1.06 million.'


The figures for the other large projects given there are broadly similar per kw at $5.

It is too easy to miss off a lot of the costs if you go the other way and try to use a Sears catalogue or whatever to work out the costs.

That is not to say that they can't fall in future, but for projects of around 200kw that appears to be where we are at the moment.

As my previous post indicted those costs appear to work anyway for solar stations in suitable areas.

Henry Gibson

I have been waiting for years to see people recognize the use of stationary batteries for fast charging. A cheaper option is a large engine generator that runs on fossil fuel such as natural gas. The neighborhood can use the heat of the engine for home heating if necessary, and the generator can support the grid during power use peaks along with the battery.

Japan already has the nearly perfect batteries for the stationary storage mentioned by this article and which should be required for any fast charging system. NGK has sodium-sulphur batteries and sells them for grid support and wind farm support services, but they can have much wider use. Both sodium and sulphur are cheap and widely available. Aluminum and steel are also required for such batteries, but they are also cheap. While not commercially available or even tested, flow-cell versions of sodium sulphur batteries can be built with massive tanks of sodium and sulphur connected to cells with pumps. It is not likely that such would be used soon because the standard materials for the rest of the cell are so cheap. ..HG..



I assumed that a solar charge station would sell about 50% of its best daily production or 600 Kwh/day. In reality it may be closer 40% or 480 Kwh/day including charge/discharge losses and leakages. As PVs + controllers + installation cost come down, a solar charge station in very sunny places could become a good clean investment.

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