Japanese telecoms giant NTT on Janary 26th announced a new recharging system to aid the adoption of electric cars (or EVs) by apartment dwellers in Japan. Since about 40% of Japanese live in some form of multiple-occupancy housing, overcoming the problem of how they can recharge their cars is a very important factor in accelerating the acceptance of electric vehicles.
After all, if you have an EV, the “refueling” can take a while in comparison with a gasoline-engined vehicle, and so the ideal time to recharge it is overnight when it is parked outside your home. If you are in a single-occupancy house, then this is a non-issue as you can simply plug it in to your home’s mains supply.
But what do you do if you are in an apartment building that has many residents? You obviously need some way of billing you directly for the power you are drawing for recharging your electric car’s batteries.
This is where this NTT innovation comes in. It is a recharging station which recognizes the user with a card that has a chip in it (called an “IC Card” in Japan). NTT sees further possibilities beyond using this card simply to manage recharging facilities: Since the card is unique to one user, they are also touting the idea of using this same card to recognize user access to electric vehicles in car sharing schemes.
So, the replacement of the oil-based infrastructure does not just represent a challenge to the new EV products, but it also creates opportunities to increase mobility while holding down costs and protecting the environment as well.
(Source: CNET Japan – Japanese language)