Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi have announced a new agreement to work together to promote the installation of EV chargers in Japan, and to make the country’s charging network more convenient and accessible.
At the moment, Japan has around 3,000 normal chargers and 1,700 quick chargers, which is generally considered insufficient, according to a press release issued by the four companies. Coordination among existing charging providers could also be improved to offer better charging services to customers.
The agreement identifies three categories of charging: basic charging at homes or workplaces; destination charging at locations such as shopping malls and restaurants; and en-route charging at locations such as expressway service areas. The companies propose to deploy 8,000 more normal chargers and 4,000 more quick chargers, the latter to be installed at en-route charging spots.
Assisted by Japanese government subsidies of some 100.5 billion yen (around $1 billion!) for fiscal year 2013, the four automakers will bear part of the cost to install the charging facilities. Each prefecture in Japan is currently making plans for the use of the subsidies.
The new agreement will also increase collaboration among charging providers in which each automaker has already invested (Japan Charge Network, Charging Network Development and Toyota Media Service) to create a more convenient charging network. Paralleling the efforts of Collaboratev in the US and Hubject in Europe, the Japanese automakers want to enable drivers to charge their EVs at any charging spot with the same card.