Cynics may say that gathering $800,000 (total) from four of Japan's largest automakers is merely a rounding error. Still, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi, along with the Development Bank of Japan, are putting those funds to good use. So, that's something.

Last week, those five entities officially founded Nippon Charge Service LLC. The company was established to promote plug-in vehicle charging installations across Japan and the automakers seeded it with 80 million yen, or about $786,000 US. Those funds will be used to help business owners deploy charging stations at convenience stores, highway-side locales and other locations that will make it easier for plug-in vehicle drivers (of Toyotas, Hondas, Mitsubishis and Nissans, obviously) to get their juice. The automakers first announced they'd collaborate last year, when they said they'd work with the Japanese government to more than triple the country's publicly accessible chargers to about 17,000 units.

No targets were disclosed as far as how many charging stations would be deployed this time out, but, in a move similar to the EZ Charge system in the US, Nippon Charge Service will also have universally-accepted charging cards available by the end of the year to drivers all of those brands' plug-in vehicles to make the charging process a little more seamless. Check out Honda's press release below.
Show full PR text
Japan Automakers Advance Electric Charging Infrastructure with New Company, Nippon Charge Service

-Established to help build charging infrastructure for electric-powered vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs and EVs)-
Toyota Motor Corporation
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Development Bank of Japan Inc.

TOKYO, Japan, May 30, 2014 - Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation jointly established a new company, Nippon Charge Service, LLC, on May 26 to promote the installation of chargers for electric-powered vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs, EVs). The goal is to help build a charging network that offers more convenience to drivers in Japan.

The new company will promote the installation of chargers, for the good of society and to expand the use of electric-powered vehicles. Related industries are also expected to benefit. Development Bank of Japan Inc. (DBJ) will support the joint effort of the four automakers by investing in the new company with its "Fund for Japanese Industrial Competitiveness."*1

Electric-powered vehicles are playing a major role in driving next-generation energy policy. On November 12, 2013, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi jointly announced a plan to financially assist installers of charging stations and began taking applications from prospective charging station installers. Together with Government subsidies the grants will cover the entire cost of installation for successful applicants.

This program targets charging facilities recognized to have high public value under the next-generation vehicle charging infrastructure plans drawn up by local governments and authorities. Financial assistance will be made available to businesses and operations to establish charging spots in key locations, such as at commercial facilities and lodging facilities, as well as en-route charging spots at highway service and parking areas, and convenience stores and service stations on regular roads. Under the program, a number of commercial facilities, hotels, convenience stores and highways have started installing charging stations. Nippon Charge Service will manage the chargers and the installers of charging stations will be asked to participate in the charging infrastructure network operated by Nippon Charge Service.

Through the new company the four automakers will also provide car owners with a universally-accepted charging card. The system will be up and running by the end of the year and will enable convenient access to the chargers operated by the new company.

In the current favorable environment of government subsidies for charger installation, the four automakers are actively encouraging the installation of chargers by founding Nippon Charge Service. The companies are aiming for broader acceptance of electric vehicles by building a user-friendly infrastructure that will help society maximize the possibilities of electric vehicles.

Overview of Nippon Charge Service

Name of company Nippon Charge Service, LLC
Headquarters Room No. 2, 6F, Mita Nitto Dai Bldg., 3-11-36 Mita, Minato-ku,
Tokyo
Founded May 26, 2014
Stakeholders Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
Development Bank of Japan Inc. (TBD)
Capitalization 80 million yen (excluding DBJ's planned investment amount)
Websites Company overview:
http://www.nippon-juden.co.jp (to be available in mid-June)
Assistance program:
http://tnhm-juuden.com/
*1
DBJ has established the "Fund for Japanese Industrial Competitiveness" to enhance Japan's competitiveness through the supply of risk money to the nation's industries. The fund will encourage firms to turn their latent capabilities into new businesses by extending business frontiers and promoting strategic alliances with other firms. DBJ's support for such activity will foster firms' corporate growth.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Spec
      • 2 Months Ago
      If Toyota and Honda are so convinced that fuel cells are the way to go . . . why are they supporting a charging infrastructure? Things that make you go "Hmmmm."
        lne937s
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Spec
        One Hydrogen filling station costs more than the $786k total charging station investment. So if they install one H2 filling station, they will be investing significantly more in hydrogen infrastructure.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Months Ago
          @lne937s
          3-4 times more
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Months Ago
          @lne937s
          Toyota and Honda have already spent billions on hydrogen fcv r&d. Toyota developed their own carbon tanks, to boot.
        JakeY
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Spec
        And another thing I almost forgot to mention (which is a far bigger point). Both of them fully support PHEVs and PHEVs still need charging infrastructure.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Thanks for refuting Spec's intimation regarding Toyota and Honda.
        JakeY
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Firstly, as the article notes, $800k is a measly amount of money for all these companies combined. For Toyota specifically, the reason they are doing this is likely because they are one of the five executive members of CHAdeMO so they must at least show SOME support even if it's only very little.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Because Toyota and Honda have long acknowledged that BEVs are great as small city cars, while stating that FCVs are destined for larger sedans, SUVs, and trucks. It's not either/or, as much as the ABG anti-FCV brigade would like to pretend. FCVs and BEVs are both part of the solution that reduces GHG emissions and the dependency on petroleum fuels.
          JakeY
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          "Because Toyota and Honda have long acknowledged that BEVs are great as small city cars, while stating that FCVs are destined for larger sedans, SUVs, and trucks." That argument is essentially an either/or argument. The argument is that EVs will be a small city car niche, while all the mass market cars (sedan, SUV, trucks) will be FCVs. Something not "either/or" would be to say both EVs and FCVs will be share the mass market (sedan, SUV/truck markets). Here's what the executive essentially says: "Toyota sees battery-electric vehicles as viable only in "a select way, in short-range vehicles that take you that extra mile, from the office to the train, or home to the train, as well as being used on large [corporate] campuses."" "But for long-range travel primary vehicles, we feel there are better alternatives, such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids, and tomorrow with fuel cells" http://www.autonews.com/article/20140520/OEM05/140529984/toyota-moving-away-from-evs-in-favor-of-hydrogen-fuel-cells?cciid=email-autonews-daily&r=2137F4695801E6V# That's far worse than even what you are saying. It's essentially saying EVs will only be viable as NEVs or the "personal mobility" vehicles that Toyota has been showing in concept form.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Months Ago
      These chargers take a lot of valuable space and are not utilized, this is only state regulations going nowhere. In the near future we will see their dismantlement. I saw empty chargers near where I live. This is a wrong and costly idea.