It's an idea with global reach: turn gas stations into electric vehicle charging points. Whether you're talking about the U.S. or the UK, putting plugs near pumps seems to make sense. And that's just what's going to happen in Japan, too. Not a surprise, really, especially since most DC fast chargers will be coming to Asia in the next few years.

The latest announcement of the growing transition comes from a group of four companies in Japan – Cosmo Oil , Idemitsu Kosan, JX Nippon Oil and Showa Shell Sekiyu KK – that will install EV charging station at 27 of their various gas stations in the first three months of 2012. What's even more interesting is that these chargers will not be "pay by the charge" units, but instead cost drivers a flat monthly fee of 3,000 yen ($38.62 U.S. at today's exchange rates) for unlimited fill ups. Anyone who joins the "EV Service Station Network" can plug-in at any participating station throughout Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectures.

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