Toyota is looking to more than double the size of the charging-station program it launched in Japan's Aichi Prefecture last year. And, at about a buck a charge, plug-in vehicle owners will likely to be more than happy to be the guinea pigs.

Toyota originally launched a program involving the installation of 32 charging stations in Aichi Prefecture in 2012 and will add another 40 between November 15 and March 15, 2014. The Japanese automaker is working with four city governments – Gamagori City, Toyohashi City, Nishio City, Kota Town – as well as more than a dozen private companies.

While many of the existing stations are at retail locations, Toyota is eying hotels and tourist attractions for additional charging spots. And while the tourist-site chargers won't be freebies, Toyota is asking just 100 yen ($1.02) per charge, so its goal of discovering "user-friendly authentication methods" for the stations is certainly realistic.

Of course, Toyota's not flying solo when it comes to working up a charging-station network in its home country. This summer, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi, said they would work with the Japanese government at more than tripling the country's publicly accessible Level 2 and DC fast chargers to about 11,000 units and 5,700 units, respectively. The Japanese government had previously said it would commit about $1 billion in subsidies towards accelerating the build-out of a plug-in charging network. Check out Toyota's press release below.
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Toyota Aiming to Expand EV and PHV Charging Infrastructure in Japan

Toyota City, Japan, November 1, 2013―Toyota Motor Corporation will carry out verification tests in Aichi Prefecture, Japan from November 15, 2013 to March 15, 2014 to assess the practicality of the widespread deployment of chargers for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). The tests, which are a continuation of a similar program implemented in 20121, will be conducted jointly with four local governments (Gamagori City, Toyohashi City, Nishio City, Kota Town) and 13 businesses and organizations2.

In addition to commercial sites, where chargers were frequently used during last year's program, the scope of this year's tests will be expanded to include hotels and nearby tourist sites in response to EV and PHV user feedback. Forty new chargers will be installed, supplementing the 32 chargers (some of which were non-subsidized) used in last year's tests.

The tests are primarily aimed to 1) examine optimal charger locations, 2) trial user-friendly authentication methods and 3) encourage businesses to install chargers:

With the cooperation of the four local governments involved in the project, chargers will be installed predominantly in hotels and tourist sites, aiming to boost local tourism, while also assessing changes in consumer awareness of PHVs and EVs. During the test period, posters and other promotional materials will be displayed at community facilities and other participating locations to raise awareness of the program and to encourage use of the chargers.

To improve the system's ease-of-use and expand its user base, 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.

Additional coin-operated chargers (100 yen per charge) will be installed at tourist sites to allow collection of fees and enable operators to recoup installation costs. These chargers will also be used to investigate user trends and pricing structure suitability.

The tests qualify for the 2013 Subsidy Program to Support R&D for the Creation of New Aichi3, a support fund established by Aichi Prefecture to counter deindustrialization trends.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is Toyota, a japanese car maker company! When it comes the time to invest heavily, Japan comes first. When it comes the time to get money, North America comes first. And people still this is a good business for North America. No North America car maker company has ever make a cent in Japan! Toyota sells more than 190.000 cars in North America every month. No North Amercica car maker sell a 100 cars in Japan every month! Confusing! Just confusing
      • 1 Year Ago
      When will they learn? Just one hydrogen station can replace 300 chargers.
        • 1 Year Ago
        Costs the same as 300 charging stations, too. Or more.
      • 1 Year Ago
      So the company that said batteries were not good enough is going to install a bunch of chargers. Hmmm. Does this signal a change of policy?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Talk about mixed messages. Well - more chargers are good, but the PiP don't need them not does the PiP low range make them useful anyway. Toyota claims they can join the EV party any time they want but my guess is that even with modern CAD tech it's going to take them 3-4 years to reach market after making the decision. They had better not leave it too late!
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is Toyota, a japanese car maker company! When it comes the time to invest heavily, Japan comes first. When it comes the time for Toyota to get money, North America comes first. No North American car maker company has ever make a cent in Japan! And people still believes this is good business for North America. Toyota sells more than 190.000 cars in North America every month. No North Amercican car maker sell 100 cars in Japan every month! Confusing! Just confusing

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