Auto behemoths in EV network splurge

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. and three rival automakers will jointly set up a company around May to build domestic infrastructure for recharging electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, industry sources said Saturday.

The new entity, in which Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will also invest, will encourage gas stations and convenience stores to install charging stations by partly bearing the cost.

The limited availability and cost of chargers is a major obstacle to sales of eco-friendly cars.

The joint company will also try to make the billing systems of firms involved in collecting fees for the use of chargers more compatible with each other.

The four automakers said last July they would jointly promote the installation of around 8,000 standard chargers and around 4,000 quick chargers nationwide by 2014, doubling the current number of each type.