Toyota seems to be across the board lately when it comes to green technology. We’ve already seen this week word of a new hydrogen fuel vehicle concept, as well as news of some hybrid minivans. It isn’t leaving electric cars untouched either, saying it plans to help out in the testing of chargers for these vehicles in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
The Japanese automaker is conducting this program in conjunction with four local governments and 13 business and organizations. Building upon a project from last year that saw EV charging stations put mostly into commercial sites, the next step is now expanding this to hotels and nearby tourist hangouts.
40 new chargers will go in, supplementing the 32 which are already up and running from last year’s testing. A number of factors will be studied during this trial, including evaluation of optimal charger spots, user friendly authentication methods and how to encourage businesses to make the technology available to customers.
One aspect of the trial which is of note as well is that additional coin-operated chargers (100 yen per charge) will be installed at some of the tourist sites to allow collection of fees and enable operators to recoup installation costs. These chargers will be used to investigate user trends and pricing structure suitability.
Besides this undertaking, Toyota is involved in a much larger charger plan with rivals Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi Motors, as well as the national Japanese government. Officials announced back in July they would put up over $1.025 billion in subsidies towards the goal of adding over 8,000 normal and 4,000 quick charging stations around the country as a way to “quickly develop the charging infrastructure and expand the use of electric-powered vehicles using alternative energy sources.”