In a sign that the world’s largest automaker may be getting more charged, Toyota has announced that it will carry out verification tests in Aichi Prefecture, Japan to “assess the practicality of the widespread deployment of chargers for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.”
The tests are a continuation of a similar program implemented in 2012, and will be conducted jointly with four local governments and 13 businesses and organizations. Forty new chargers will be installed, adding to the 32 chargers used in last year’s tests, mostly at hotels and tourist sites.
According to Toyota, authentication cards (Prius PHV member cards) for “G-Station” chargers developed by Toyota Media Service Corporation will be made compatible with “EVC1” chargers from Toyota Industries Corporation. A certain number of coin-operated chargers (!) will also be installed.
As the preceding paragraph indicates, Toyota is a bit behind the curve when it comes to charging infrastructure. Competitor Nissan moved beyond tests ages ago, and has been rapidly rolling out chargers in Asia, North America and Europe. Perhaps the surge in sales of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid – it moved into the lead in US plug-in sales in October – has raised the voltage level in Toyota City.