Nine Japanese companies, including automakers, charger manufacturers and an electric utility, announced Thursday that they have formed an organization that will create a membership-based quick-charging network for EV drivers. The Charging Network Development Organization aims to solve the EV’s classic chicken-and-egg dilemma: drivers are reluctant to buy EVs until there are more chargers available, and businesses are reluctant to install chargers until there are more drivers on the road to pay for them.
As of October, Japan has around 800 quick chargers, most installed by individual businesses and other organizations for private use. Under the new system, quick charger owners will register their chargers with a central database, and that information will be available to member EV drivers. Membership fees will help pay for charger installation and maintenance costs.
The concept grew out of a study by the CHAdeMO Association, a Japanese standards organization with a mission to promote the spread of quick-charging infrastructure. The name CHAdeMO is an obscure play on words based on a Japanese phrase that means “Let’s have a tea while charging.”