Smart Grid (2): Nissan/Mitsubishi developing dischargeable EVs

Plan to use batteries recycled from EVs as stationary storage devices in homes and elsewhere

2011/05/12

Summary

 Having an electric storage capacity in workplaces and homes is an important step in building a smart grid. This is why a number of attempts are being made such as building homes with storage capacity and draining electricity from batteries on EVs and PHEVs and using them as storage batteries for home use (referred to as "dischargeable EVs" or "V2H (Vehicle to Home)" in this report.

 The previous report "Smart Grid (1)" of April 14 reported plans by Toyota Group's homebuilding companies to provide homes with electric storage capacities and the demonstration experiments being conducted in the city of Toyota since 2010 focusing on the verification of "V2H" by Toyota to use the storage batteries in EVs and PHEVs as the electric suppliers.

 This report, Smart Grid (2), contains reports on the "dischargeable EVs" being pursued by Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors, and their plans to construct related systems.

 It is known that the lithium-ion batteries, after being removed from EVs, can be reused as stationary storage batteries in homes and elsewhere with the likely result of lowering the initial battery cost affecting the EV sales. This possibility is being studied by Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation, Mitsubishi Motors, Itochu Corporation and other companies.

 Also reported here are special efforts being made to build systems that include charging systems and car sharing systems that will encourage market penetration of EVs and PHEVs.

 Honda began a demonstration program in December 2010 in Japan and the US with the Fit EV and the Inspire-based PHEV.

Plans to install storage capacities in homes (including secondary use of batteries for EVs)

Homes with
storage capacities
Toyota group  Toyota Home, one of the Toyota group companies, will have homes having storage capacities and HEMS (Home Energy Management System) ready for commercial application in 2011. Misawa Home (27.8% controlled by Toyota Home) has similar plans.
Homebuilders  Other homebuilders also have plans to introduce homes with storage capacities expecting the popular use of EVs and PHEVs.
Discharging
electricity from
EV batteries
for home use
(dischargeable EVs)
Toyota  Verifying V2H technologies in the demonstration experiment started in the city of Toyota in 2010
Nissan  Developing dischargeable EVs in the demonstration experiment started in the city of Yokohama in 2010
 Developing efficient charging and discharging technologies of the EV batteries conducted jointly with GE since April 2010
Mitsubishi
Motors
 Developing V2H-ready EV technologies in the Keihanna Project that started in Kyoto Prefecture in 2010
 Demonstration experiments started in December 2010 using EV batteries and reused batteries. Developing a system for using batteries as a power source without placing a burden on the vehicle.
Sharp  Developing a conditioner for using EV batteries as storage batteries for home use
Secondary
use of EV
lithium-ion batteries
Nissan  Demonstrating reuse of EV batteries in demonstration experiments that started in the city of Kitakyushu in 2010
 A new company was established in September 2010 jointly with Sumitomo Corporation to study the feasibility of secondary use of EV batteries as a business.
Mitsubishi
Motors
 Demonstration experiments started in January 2011 in the city of Kyoto regarding the secondary use of EV batteries
Itochu  Demonstration experiments started in May 2010 jointly with the city of Tsukuba aimed at building a business model of the secondary use of EV batteries
 Plans started in November 2010 in partnership with a local electric power company in the state of Indiana of the US regarding the demonstration of secondary use in stationary application of batteries recycled from EVs
(Notes) 1. Certain partnerships in joint activities are omitted from the above chart.
2. See MarkLines report "Smart Grid (1)" of April 14 about plans being pursued by Toyota and homebuilding companies.
3. "Dischargeable EV", "chargeable and dischargeable EV" and "V2H (Vehicle to Home)" are used to describe the EV driving batteries, or the EVs themselves, that are capable of storing and discharging electricity as needed.


Nissan: Developing technologies to use EV as an electric supplier

 In April 2010, the "Yokohama Smart City Project" proposed by the city of Yokohama and a group of companies including Nissan was chosen one of the four "next-generation energy and social system demonstration projects" by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Nissan will provide 2,000 units of the Leaf EVs to verify the hypothesis that "EVs can be used as a social infrastructure for power storage." Nissan will also demonstrate that the EV batteries removed from the EV can be used in homes.

 Nissan has also started joint development with GE regarding the efficient charging and discharging technologies of EV batteries.

Yokohama Smart City Project (YSCP)

Initiatives  (1) Introduce large-scale renewable energies (2) Establish energy management systems at individual locations of demand (3) Construct mutually complementary relations between local energy management and a large-scale network (4) Efficient use of energies in transportation systems including next-generation automobiles, railways etc. (5) Innovation of lifestyles
Goals, budgets  Reduce CO2 in the demonstration area by 64,000 tons by 2014 with a total budget of 74 billion yen in the five-year project period.
Introductory
scale
 Approximately 27MW of photovoltaic generation, 4,000 smart homes equipped with HEMS (Home Energy Management System), and smart buildings and condominiums (gross floor area of 1.6 million m2) equipped with BEMS (Building Energy Management System). Expanding charging infrastructures for a total of 2,000 EVs by FY2014.
Main
demonstration
subjects
 (1) Introduce CEMS (Community Energy Management System): Stationary batteries combined with HEMS and BEMS to absorb power variation of the renewable energies centrally introduced in the area. Control demand as well to seek more efficient methods than absorbing power variation with stationary storage batteries alone.
 (2) Introduce energy management by means of chargeable and dischargeable EVs: Nissan to develop technology that allows draining electricity from EV and demonstrate the use of EV to store photovoltaic and other renewable clean electric power (the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV currently sold in the market are designed to use electricity stored in the battery to drive the vehicle exclusively).
Participants  The city of Yokohama, five private companies (Nissan, Accenture, Toshiba, Meidensha, Panasonic) etc.
Project areas  Initially limited to the Minato Mirai 21 district to be extended later to Kohoku New Town (Tsuzuki Ward) and Kanazawa Ward water-front area (included in the Yokohama Green Valley concept) and other critical areas. The project area has a population of 420,000 (approx. 170,000 households) and a gross area of 60km2.
Source: Nissan press releases 2010.4.8/2010.9.2, Yokohama City press release 2010.8.11
(Notes) 1. In September 2010, Nissan, Hitachi, Oryx and Oryx Auto Corporation announced that their "energy management system based on dischargeable EVs" project in the YSCP was accepted under "technical development of power storage combined systems" project by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). Hitachi will be responsible for developing photovoltaic power generation while Oryx and Oryx Auto will be responsible for the development of car sharing systems.
2. NEDO's project is aimed at technical development and the use of storage batteries in homes and buildings, demonstration of energy management systems, development of assessment technologies and standardization to help realize massive introduction of dispersed power systems.
Nissan: Partnering with GE in the development of smart-charging technology for EVs
 In April 2010, Nissan and GE of the US announced a three-year joint development plan with regard to smart charging for EVs (supplying electricity to homes and buildings using the EV's electric storage capacity, and charging EV from homes or buildings). GE is a world leader in the energy sector with a customer base across the entire electric grid network. Nissan aspires to lead the world as the manufacturer of zero-emission cars. The two companies' expertise will be combined under the program.
 More concretely, they will pursue joint development in two key areas:(1) Technologies to control demand and supply of electricity in homes and buildings based on the EV's electric storage capacities, and(2) Charging a large number of EVs efficiently in the near future based on a large-scale electric grid.

Source: Nissan press release 2010.4.26

 

Nissan: Planning a second-life business for EV batteries

 Nissan will conduct a demonstration experiment in the city of Kitakyushu regarding the reuse of batteries.

 In September 2010, Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation formed a new joint-venture company, 4R Energy, to conduct research on the second-life business for lithium-ion batteries removed permanently from EVs. A group consisting of Asahi Kasei Corporation, Nissan, and Omron and Sumitomo Forestry will construct storage systems for homes using recycled batteries removed from the Nissan Leaf EVs that will be supplied by 4R Energy.

 It is said that the lithium-ion batteries removed from EVs can be used for home use for around 20 years.

Nissan: Conducting demonstration experiments in the city of Kitakyushu regarding the second-life business for batteries

 Nissan will conduct a demonstration experiment in the city of Kitakyushu regarding the secondary use of lithium-ion batteries removed from EVs. Nissan will select homes, buildings and public facilities, during 2010 to 2011, which will benefit from the secondary use of the recycled batteries. After making necessary adjustments with those concerned, Nissan will start experiments in 2012 and verify the results. The company intends to reduce the price of EVs by reusing the batteries to promote market penetration of EVs.

Source: Announcements by the Kitakyushu Smart Community Creation Council (August 2010). Kitakyushu is one of the four areas chosen in April 2010 by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the purpose of demonstration experiments.

Nissan and Sumitomo: A research company established to study the second-life business for EV batteries

 In September 2010, Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation established a new joint-venture company, 4R Energy Corporation, to conduct demonstration experiments and business feasibility studies on the second-life use for lithium-ion batteries removed from EVs. The new company is capitalized at 450 million yen (51% by Nissan, 49% by Sumitomo), and will conduct business in Japan and North American markets.
 The two companies have been studying, since October 2009, the feasibility of second-life use of the recyclable, high-performance lithium-ion batteries, under the name of "4R" (Reuse, Resell, Refabricate and Recycle) business.

Source: Nissan and Sumitomo Corporation joint press release 2010.9.15

Second-life use of batteries from the Nissan Leaf EV as storage batteries for homes
Asahi Kasei,
Nissan, Omron
 Asahi Kasei, Nissan and Omron will develop systems for secondary use of EV batteries in-home applications. Their idea is to construct a new system to reuse the lithium-ion batteries, removed from the steadily growing number of EVs, to store excess electricity from power companies during night hours at lower rates, or store electricity produced by photovoltaic generation in homes.
 Initially, Asahi Kasei will use new lithium-ion batteries to build an electric storage system and sell it to consumers through Asahi Kasei Homes Corporation in FY2012 at one to two million yen at first. The company plans to lower the price to roughly half a million yen by switching to recycled batteries in phases that will be procured from 4R Energy (after replacing deteriorated parts). Their trial calculations show that the system will lead to saving monthly electricity bills by about 3,000 yen per average household if all its electric demand is met by electricity stored at discounted night-time rates.
 Omron will develop equipment that will convert the direct current stored in batteries to alternate current for home use and that is used to manage and control charge and discharge conditions.
Sumitomo Forestry  In February 2011, Sumitomo Forestry invited 13 home owners to monitor storage batteries originally intended for use on the Nissan Leaf EVs and redesigned for home use. New batteries will be used at first until recycled ones become available for reuse after demonstration experiments with 4R Energy is completed.
 The invitation is limited to those who have purchased Sumitomo Forestry's homes equipped with solar systems. The battery system (storage capacity of 12kWh, one half that of the Leaf EV) and Toshiba's home IT system will be provided and installed free of charge for those monitors that agree to provide data continuously for five years.

Source: Sumitomo Forestry press release 2011.2.1, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper 2011.2.4

 



Mitsubishi Motors: Developing dischargeable EVs and technologies for secondary use of EV batteries

 Mitsubishi Motors, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Renesas Electronics Corporation will participate in Kyoto Prefecture's Keihanna Eco-city next-generation energy and social system demonstration project (one of the four areas selected by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) aspiring to develop dischargeable EV technologies.

 In December 2010, Mitsubishi Motors, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation took on a new initiative aimed at the optimization of energy management using a photovoltaic power generation system, EVs and storage batteries removed from EVs, all placed in Mitsubishi Motors' Nagoya Plant.

 In January 2011, Mitsubishi Motors and three other companies began demonstration experiments in Kyoto Prefecture regarding secondary use of batteries (LEV50) originally made for the i-MiEV.

Mitsubishi Motors and others: Verifying secondary use of EV batteries at Nagoya Plant

 In December 2010, Mitsubishi Motors, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation installed a photovoltaic power generation system, EVs with batteries and batteries removed from EVs for reuse purposes. The batteries will be recharged using photovoltaics among other sources, and discharged as needed. This marks the start of development and verification of the EMS (Energy Management System) that will contribute to the optimization of energy balance at the plant.
Mitsubishi Motors and others: Developing technologies to optimize charge and discharge of batteries on board EVs
 In addition, the three companies will develop EIS (Electric Vehicle Integration System), technologies intending to set optimal charge and discharge of the storage batteries on the EV so that they may be used as an external power source without placing a burden on the electric vehicle.

Source: Mitsubishi Motors and two other companies joint press release 2010.12.2
(Note) This project has been accepted under the "technical development of power storage combined systems" project by NEDO that will bear two thirds of the project's R&D costs.

Mitsubishi Motors, GS Yuasa, etc.: Demonstration experiments started for secondary use of EV batteries

 In June 2010, Mitsubishi Motors, GS Yuasa, Mitsubishi Corporation and Lithium Energy Japan announced that the lithium-ion batteries "LEV50" used on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV can be kept for second-life use, after they are removed from the EV, for storing natural and other energies. In January 2011, the four companies began a demonstration experiment in the city of Kyoto to develop second-life business for lithium-ion batteries.
 The experiment will use the PV-EV system developed by GS Yuasa (PV stands for "photovoltaic" more commonly known as solar power generation; the PV-EV is a system designed to store electricity produced by solar cells in the lithium-ion batteries and quick-charge the EV using the stored electricity.) The system will use lithium-ion batteries "LEV50" used on and removed from the Mitsubishi i-MiEV to minimize the system costs while exploring a broad range of second-life usages for the "LEV50" batteries.
 The solar cells will be laid atop the Lawson convenience stores in Kyoto and excess electricity will be used for the store lighting. The system represents the highly-efficient use of electricity: direct current is used along the entire process from generation by the solar cells, storage and charging of the EV.

Source: Mitsubishi Motors and three other companies joint press releases 2010.6.28/2011.1.25

 



Honda: Demonstration Program under way in Japan and the US using EVs and PHEVs

 In December 2010, Honda started an electric vehicle demonstration program in Saitama Prefecture using the Fit EV and the Inspire-based PHEV. The program will explore the different ways the EVs and PHEVs are used in cities and residential districts, and the ideal images of future electric mobility. The company will emphasize its products, such as solar panels and co-generation technologies, to demonstrate "total energy management" completed at home or within a community.

 In December 2010, Honda also started demonstration programs in the city of Torrance, California, in the US using the Fit EV and Accord PHEV. Stanford University and Google Inc. have also taken part in the tests.

Honda: Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program under way

Overall image
and objectives
 Honda is working with Saitama Prefecture to verify the future electric mobility and its CO2 reducing effect based on a total approach that includes EV, PHEV and other electric versions of next-generation electric mobility technologies, information and communications technologies and energy supplies by means of photovoltaic power generation. The team aspires to create a new, low-carbon lifestyle through "total energy management" that can be completed within a home or a community.
Vehicles  The Fit-based EV, Inspire-based PHEV, EV-neo (a motor scooter type electric bicycle), and Monpal ML200 (a battery-powered wheel-chair for sidewalks; driving license not required).
Photovoltaic
power generation
 "Solar charging stations" installed in Honda's headquarters building (located in Wako, Saitama Pref.) using solar cell modules supplied by Honda Soltec will be organized based on information and communications technologies for verification purposes.
Information and
communication
technologies
 Functions of the "Inter-navi Premium Club," an information network service designed for four-wheel vehicles, are used to verify charging support and other services for demonstration vehicles. Locations of charging stations, destination settings, vehicle and other conditions can be shown not only on the conventional car navigation screens but also on smart phones.
Areas and
objectives of
demonstration
<City of Saitama>
* Studies about urban style mobility deriving from sharing (EV-neo electric motorcycles and EVs) at railway stations in large cities
* Studies about the quiet quality of electric vehicles in residential areas
<City of Kumagaya>
* Verification of compatibility of EVs and PHEVs to the park and ride scheme and of convenience of mobility about Kagohara station conveniently located in the suburban community of a large city
<City of Chichibu>
* Studies about ways to create outing opportunities and increase convenience for the senior citizens by means of the Monpal wheel-chair, in collaboration with the local government in search of the township development with the citizens.

Source: Honda press release 2010.12.20, Nikkan Kogyo Newspaper 2010.12.21
(Note) The demonstration programs in Japan will be carried out in Saitama and Kumamoto prefectures for a planned period of two years.

Honda: Launching EV/PHEV demonstration programs in California, US
Main contents  Test-drive the Fit-based EVs and the US-designed Accord- (called Inspire in Japan)-based PHEVs to identify specific issues and their solutions related to the general introduction of electric vehicles.
Participants
and their roles
* City of Torrance: The EV/PHEV will be used by several Torrance city departments to develop and evaluate charging infrastructure, and build public awareness about electric vehicles.
* Stanford University: Determines the actual driving performance of the test vehicles and the ease of using the electric vehicles.
* Google:Playing the role of an information center, Google will use its map information and verify the energy efficiency.
Source: American Honda Motor press release 2010.12.15
(Notes) 1. The demonstration program is officially called the Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program.
2. Stanford University will research the behavior and usability of the EVs and PHEVs.

 



Itochu Corporation: Building a new business model in Japan and the US for secondary use of lithium-ion batteries

 Itochu Corporation has been conducting a crossover project toward the realization of a low-carbon society jointly with the city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, that will last three years from May 2010. The first demonstration project in Japan led by a private sector is aimed at building a business model for secondary use of lithium-ion batteries for EVs, reducing the initial cost of the EV batteries, and building still other business models for specific processes in the demonstration project.

 Itochu Corporation has also started a demonstration project in the US in the form of a partnership with a local electric power company for the secondary-use business for EV batteries.

Itochu Corporation: Green Crossover Project launched in the city of Tsukuba

Origin of the
project name
 Green Crossover Project is a multipurpose approach for the realization of a low-carbon society through the development of solar and other clean energies as well as lithium-ion batteries.
Participants  Itochu Corporation, FamilyMart (a convenience store chain), Itochu Enex (a gas station operator), Mazda, Orient Corporation, EnerDel, Th!nk, the city of Tsukuba and others.
Outline of the Green Crossover Project
Objectives  Construct a business model for secondary use of the EV lithium-ion batteries as a stationary source of electric power supply. Construct a battery business with insights into the recycling of batteries to lower the battery cost considered one of the factors preventing market penetration of electric vehicles.
 Construct an environmental business model for universal application deriving from specific processes in the course of demonstration.
Transportation
infrastructure
 The centers of the transportation infrastructure for the purpose of the project will comprise FamilyMart's Tsukuba Science City Store and Itochu Enex's Tsukuba Science City East Avenue CS Gas Station.
Photovoltaic power
generation,
storage system,
quick charger with
user authentication
and billing
 The two sites each will have a photovoltaic power generation system and EnerDel-made lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Electricity produced by the photovoltaic power generation system will be stored and used to charge EVs from a quick charger.
 An energy management system will be constructed to automatically redirect electricity generated but unused by the transportation system to the store and gas station. The project will verify the optimal model.
 The two sites each will have quick chargers with user authentication and billing functions. The addition of these new features is expected to increase business opportunities.
Electric vehicles  Three electric vehicles (modified from the Mazda Demio and powered by EnerDel-made 12kWh lithium-ion batteries) will be prepared for the city of Tsukuba, FamilyMart, and for car sharing for the local citizens. Two more EVs will be added for the car sharing program.
Card system  A single contactless IC credit card will be all that is needed for user authentication and billing at car sharing and quick charger stations. The card will be used to construct new card business opportunities or business models.
Integrated energy
management
 An integrated energy management system has been developed that has realized centralized management of data that includes remotely monitoring the usage and depletion level of the lithium-ion batteries, car sharing, quick charger management, and energy management at stores.

Source: Itochu Corporation press release 2010.5.12

Itochu Corporation: Launching a business model verification project in the US about secondary use of lithium-ion batteries

 In November 2010, Itochu Corporation teamed with Duke Energy Corporation, a leading utility company headquartered in the US in North Carolina, and jointly started verification of a secondary use business model for EV lithium-ion batteries. According to Itochu Corporation, the EV batteries whose performance has dropped to 80% of the initial level must be replaced but can be used as an auxiliary power source for home use.
 The two companies will participate in Project Plug-IN, a multi-sectored EV promotion project in the state of Indiana, one of the areas served by Duke Energy. Itochu will evaluate performance of the EnerDel-made lithium-ion batteries removed from about 80 electric vehicles manufactured by Th!nk for secondary use in stationary applications including home, community and commercial usages. The two companies will also seek ways to reduce initial battery costs in EV sales through the secondary use of the batteries.
Source: Itochu Corporation press release 2010.11.24, Nihon Keizai Newspaper 2010.11.24
(Notes) 1. Duke Energy is the third largest utility company in the US and supplies electricity to approximately four million households.
2. Itochu Corporation has shares in EnerDel's parent company, Ener 1, and Th!nk, and has exclusive rights to sell EnerDel's lithium-ion batteries and Th!nk's electric vehicles in Japan.

 

Sharp Corporation: Conditioners developed that make storage batteries for EVs usable as those for home use

 Sharp Corporation has developed conditioners that allow storage batteries originally designed for EV use to be used for homes. The conditioners are designed to simultaneously control several electric power sources such as solar cells, electricity supplied by power companies and batteries installed in electric vehicles, store unused electricity in the EV batteries, and supply a stable source of electric power to homes.

Sharp Corporation: Conditioners developed that make storage batteries for EVs usable as those for home use

 In February 2011, Sharp Corporation announced the development of the "Intelligent Power Conditioner (power inverter/controller)" that allows the EV to be used as a storage battery for home use. It gives integrated control over electricity sent from solar cells, EV storage batteries and electric power companies. The company plans to make the conditioners commercially available in 2014 at a price around several tens of thousands yen.
 The demonstration tests were successful in supplying 8kW electricity (enough for practical use in an average household) to home from the driving battery on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and charging 4kWh energy for the i-MiEV's battery from home in about 30 minutes (the i-MiEV has total storage capacity of 16kWh).

Source: Sharp Corporation press release 2011.2.22, Nikkei Sangyo Newspaper 2011.2.23

 



Steady progress in charging infrastructure and car sharing system constructions

 There has been steady progress in installing charging facilities for EV/PHEV in homes and parking areas. Nissan, Sumitomo Corporation and NEC Corporation announced plans to start EV charging services for members.

Nissan, Sumitomo Corporation and NEC Corporation to start EV charging services for members

 In December 2010, Nissan, Sumitomo Corporation and NEC Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding to promote membership charging services on a national scale for EV users. They will deploy slow and quick charging facilities to suit specific locations and usages to establish a business model for charging infrastructure.
 The three companies will invite other companies, regardless of trade or industry, to support their initiative by presenting their know-how and expertise to produce maximum synergy for building the new business. To kick off their initiative, they will team with the Kanagawa Prefecture and certain local governments within the prefecture at the earliest opportunity during the FY2011 to conduct demonstration services and verify their convenience. The companies plan to expand the services to a fuller and more national scale.
Source: Nissan and two other companies joint press release 2010.12.21
(Notes) 1. In December 2010, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism announced their judgment that EV charging business fell outside of business regulations imposed by the Electricity Business Act and, therefore, anyone can provide charging services for billing as can the electric power companies.
2. In November 2010, NEC Corporation announced the development of a cloud type EV charging system that promised a wide deploying area for the charging infrastructure. The system users will have access to a variety of authentication and electronic payment methods while the business operators will have the best energy management for the smart grid era such as, for instance, economical operation of chargers within the contracted limits in coordination with an electric power management system in the store.


 There have been yet other developments with regard to the deployment of charging infrastructures for various types of houses and parking facilities such as rental apartment houses (planned by Nissan, the city of Yokohama and Urban Renaissance Agency), condominiums (jointly planned by Nissan and Daikyo, Inc.), detached homes (Sekisui House, Itochu Property Development, Ltd.), and multilevel parking towers (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries). Among them, Sekisui House announced the EV charging receptacle will be a standard feature in its detached homes ordered in February 2011 or after. Homebuilders will promote them as environmentally-friendly houses.

 

EV-based car sharing, rent-a-cars and taxis gaining popularity

 Oryx Auto Corporation is operating 20 units of Mitsubishi i-MiEV in its rent-a-car fleet. In January 2011, the company announced plans to introduce 130 units of the Nissan Leaf EVs for its rent-a-car and car sharing businesses. Nissan will cooperate with the Kanagawa Prefecture in the introduction of electric taxicabs. Nissan will also join the "Hakone EV Town Project" with Mitsubishi Motors to promote the use of electric vehicles in tourist taxi, car sharing and rent-a-car operations.

 

NTT Group: Taking part in businesses to support the EV introduction by fleet users

 In February 2011, seven of the NTT group companies started EV car sharing demonstration experiments to accumulate know-how about the introduction and operation of electric vehicles. The gathered data will be used to propose a package of EV car sharing and charging infrastructure in the form of "one-stop" service for fleet users

NTT Group: Taking part in businesses to support the EV introduction by fleet users

 In February 2011, seven of the NTT group companies completed the development of an EV-based car sharing system and started a demonstration experiment (EV Car Sharing Eco Project) to prove the system's business feasibility. NTT East Japan's Saitama branch office (located in the city of Saitama) and NTT Data Kyushu (located in the city of Fukuoka) have been chosen as EV renting points. Two Nissan Leaf EVs and a Mitsubishi i-MiEV will be allocated to each point for sharing by main business operators in the NTT group.
 EV-based car sharing requires special operational and charging infrastructure that are not found in conventional car sharing operations. For instance, the charging time and the amount of charging must be taken into consideration when scheduling vehicle availabilities. Therefore, NTT Group will build and accumulate know-how regarding the introduction of electric vehicles and auxiliary infrastructure. They plan to start EV introduction support business for fleet users within two years.

Source: NTT Group seven companies joint press release 2011.2.28

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