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Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi agree to joint development of charging infrastructure for plug-in vehicles in Japan

Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation jointly announced their agreement to work together to promote the installation of chargers for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs)—(plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (EVs)—and to build a charging network service that offers more convenience to drivers in Japan. (Earlier post.)

The partners said the move is in recognition of the need for the swift development of a 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 regular chargers in Japan—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 of Japan announced subsidies for installation of charging facilities totaling ¥100.5 billion (US$1.03 billion) as part of its economic policy for fiscal year 2013 to 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 general charging modes for electric-powered vehicles, the partners noted: basic charging, in which a car is charged at private homes or condominiums; destination charging, in which 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, conventional charging is suitable for longer-duration stops, while quick charging is appropriate for shorter stops.

In terms of utility, plug-in hybrid vehicles would benefit from an expanded charging network because it would maximize these vehicles’ EV driving performance and combined fuel economy. EVs, which provide an emissions-free, clean driving experience, could harness a larger charging network to extend their range during longer trips.

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 conventional chargers by 8,000 and quick chargers by 4,000. Conventional 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).

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

  3. 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—i.e., roaming.

  4. Work with government agencies and local governments. The government aims to expand the use of the next-generation of the plug-in electric vehicles and achieve a ratio of 15 to 20% 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.



Excellent program. Those four produce 80+% of personal vehicles being used in Japan. Improved access to charging facilities will accelerate the introduction of electrified vehicles.

South Korea, China, India, Russia, Thailand, Taiwan and many other countries will do the same shortly?

USA/Canada and EU will also see the light by 2020 or so?


Great idea.
Each major trading block should get their own standard(s).

Pity they turned off their nuclear reactors, though.

(Even crazier that the Germans plan to do the same).


Bottom line:

Even with grid losses, ~80% of EV electric energy turns wheels.

Perhaps 20% of gasoline energy turns wheels - and Japan ain't got no gas.

Could Better Place have gone further without the massive Israeli natural gas discoveries? ..note the timing.


'Even with grid losses, ~80% of EV electric energy turns wheels.'

You don't half get yourself in a mess sometimes by not thinking clearly and clearly defining what you are on about!

No way does the electrical efficiency including grid losses approach anything like 80%.

For the US average the losses from the energy production and a stonking 7% in transmission mean that you end up with something of the order of 33% of the original energy in the source at your wall socket.

Only around 80% of that makes it from your wall into the battery, and out again:

'Then, we have 2 Miles/KWh figures. The first one is using the electricity used at the "wall" as shown by Blink. The second one is the "efficiency" as shown by Leaf. They differ by about 80% to 80%. That is the charging efficiency of the car.'

Then there would be various losses in the drivetrain, for heating and so on.

That still leaves electric cars way more efficient than ICE, which is the real point.

If you are going to get involved with numbers though, they need checking and defining tightly.
Throwing them at the wall doesn't help! ;-)


@Davemart, Tesla motor w/inverter is rated at 90% efficiency. Lose another 10% in the battery - PV solar or wind can charge the car and they are limit-less anyway.

One could rate varying rpm city mpg ICE down to 15% efficiency. Subtract oil discovery, transportation, refinery loses, etc. and ICE is under 10% energy efficiency.

In other words, it's safe to say EVs are four times more energy efficient - eight times would be pushing it.


Just a thought, but my figures didn't include the energy for hauling around ICE parts for oil changes, pollution equipment, exhaust piping, transmissions, shorter brake life, tune-ups, ..


Oh, I forgot global warming - the 'warming' part where 80-90% of ICE performance results in heat loss into the atmosphere, besides the cumulative effect of pollutant greenhouse effect - and the energy needed to clean these ICE properties.


None of that makes any sense of your statement about efficiency including grid losses being 80%.
I am not disagreeing with your argument that EVs are a lot more efficient than ICE, I am just asking you to take care in your terms.


Up to four times more efficient is worthwhile.

The spread between ICEVs and EVs efficiency will probably increase as batteries efficiency goes up 3X to 5+X and car bodies are redesigned as required by more efficient EVs.

Future ultra light EVs and improved batteries, controls, chargers etc will take many future EV's efficiency closer to 80%.


'Even with grid losses, ~80% of EV electric energy turns wheels.' is close enough, since the grid isn't even necessary.

A typical ~20% light ICE energy efficiency can easily be cut to ~10% when the required ICE maintenance, pipeline construction, pollution clean-up energy waste, etc are also included.

Therefore, even pretending the EV energy cycle has twice the losses leaves ~60% vs ~10%.

In other words, it's safe to say EVs are four times more energy efficient - eight times would be pushing it.

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