It's well known by now that, aside from the cost, the biggest hurdle to the adoption of EVs may be a lack of charging infrastructure available to people most likely to use these vehicles. Those would be urban dwellers, many of whom live in apartment buildings. If apartment residents are lucky enough to have access to a parking garage, odds there is no plug nearby.
Enter Japan Delivery System (JDS). For the past 15 years, companies like JDS have offered a system called delivery boxes for apartments. These secured boxes allow for the delivery of larger packages when residents are out. The reason this is important to EV drivers is that the boxes provide an existing authentication system. Residents of apartments with delivery boxes get an ID card that can be used with a PIN to unlock the box and retrieve packages.

By installing chargers in the garage and tying them to the delivery box network, the same authentication system can be used to identify the driver for purposes of billing for electricity use. Mitsubishi is partnering with JDS to distribute a charging system that is integrated into the delivery box authentication. The i-Charger is available starting this month in Japan through JDS.

[Source: Mitsubishi]


Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and Japan Delivery System Corporation joint develop an electric vehicle charging system for apartment buildings in Japan

System utilizes existing "delivery box" systems and makes electric vehicle charging and charging management possible for apartment parking lots

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) and Japan Delivery System Corporation (JDS)* have jointly developed an electric vehicle (EV) charging system for apartment complexes. The system, called i-CHARGER, is to be sold by JDS starting from December 1.

Installation and management of EV charging infrastructure for shared parking lots of apartment complexes is an issue in Japan for the popularization of electric vehicles. The i-CHARGER solves this problem by utilizing existing "delivery box" systems. Utilizing the authentication capability of the "delivery box" system, the i-CHARGER can manage who, when, and how much electricity was used, making it easy for apartment complex supervisors to sort out electricity usage of the building's tenants.

At present the i-CHARGER is aimed at apartment complex residents who own an electric vehicle, however once the reservation system that is currently under development is completed, electric vehicle sharing in apartment complexes becomes possible, greatly contributing to the spread of charging infrastructure.

*JDS is involved in the management, sales, and construction of "delivery box" systems for apartment complexes in Japan and holds a 40% market share.

Main functions of the i-CHARGER

The i-CHARGER, applying the security, user management and tenant verification capabilities of the "delivery box" system can provide the following functions in conjunction with electric charging equipment:

* When a tenant uses their "delivery box" verification card over the main charging unit, the outlet unit installed at the parking space is activated, allowing for charging of the user's electric vehicle.
* The charging time is calculated and managed by the "delivery box," allowing for the building supervisor to charge the correct electricity fees to the correct tenant.
* The same 24-hour toll-free support line for the "delivery box" system will be made available for charger support as well.

The i-CHARGER system overview

There are also plans to develop a stand-alone unit that is not dependent on a "delivery box" system.

** A "delivery box" is a system of lockers that allow for delivery or sending of packages when tenants are not at home. The "delivery box" notifies tenants when a package has arrived, and the package can be retrieved by the tenant by PIN code or verification card. These systems were first introduced to the apartment building market 15 years ago, and are now often installed in new apartment buildings.

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