Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Japanese car makers to increase charging stations for electric vehicles

With the increase of electric vehicles on the road, drivers are also in need of accessible chargers for their electric cars. Led by Nissan Motor Co., other Japanese car makers – Honda, Mitsubishi, and Toyota– have agreed to collaborate on a project that will increase the number of electric car charges in the country, more than twice the ones currently available.
Although no specific timeframe was given, the four car makers said that from 4,700 chargers, the number will be increased to 12,000, which will include 4,000 fast-charging points. According to Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, an analyst from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Japanese auto manufacturers have always been at the forefront of developing and commercializing electric vehicles. However, because of high pricing and range limitation, these cars have not been making competitive sales. “To achieve higher volume sales, manufacturers need to address the higher initial cost and the perceived limitations of electric vehicles, particularly driving range,” the analyst from Tokyo pointed out.
The Japanese government has also offered to subsidize charging facilities. As part of its economic policy, the government has set aside 100.5 billion yen ($1.03 billion) for the car companies sharing costs in the charger production. Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Toyota have also agreed to work together to promote installation of chargers in Japan. In addition, all four will temporarily bear part of the installation and maintenance costs. They will also be expected to build the charging infrastructure network which will enable customers to use their PHVs, PHEVs and EVs more conveniently. The four automakers are also expected to cooperate with government offices or agencies for this major undertaking.