Study after study has found that one of the main concerns electric vehicle customers have to face is that these cars take too long to charge and that their range might not be sufficient for general use.
Various government and private initiatives have been undertaken in the UK to address these concerns, but so far sales of electric vehicles are lagging far behind expectations.
The situation in Japan is not much different, which is probably why some of the top names in the Japanese auto industry have decided to team up and create an organisation that will provide quick charging services to its members.
Mitsubishi, Honda and Toyota will pool their resources with the Chubu Electric Power company, the Development Bank of Japan, Suzuyo Shoji Co, Kandenko Co, Kanematsu Corporation and ULVAC Inc for what will be known as the "Charging Network Development Organisation." The aim of the organisation will be to expand current charging infrastructure in order to boost public acceptance of electric vehicles.
By the end of October 2011 there were only about 800 quick charging stations in the whole of Japan - certainly not enough from a consumer's point of view. They have generally been set up by private organisations and companies for their own use.
Under the new membership scheme there will be a central database of charging stations and members will be able to use any of these stations - in return for a monthly fee. The project is expected to come into full operation during 2012.
Author - Louise Hutchinson
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