Top Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Mitsubishi have announced that they will be providing financial assistance to installers of charging stations for electric vehicles (PHVs, PHEVs, and EVs). The automakers have detailed specific subsidies provided to installers of the charging stations from installation, maintenance and electricity costs. This is a follow-up to the announcement made by the four companies in July this year to jointly promote the construction of a user-friendly network of charging infrastructures.

In an effort to promote sustainable mobility, the automakers promoting the use of electric vehicles to drive the energy policy for the next generation. However, the much-needed charging infrastructure is needed before the public can accept the vehicles and use it as an alternative to gasoline or diesel fueled vehicles. For standard chargers, subsidies of up to 400,000 yen per charger installed; while quick chargers will get up to 1,700,000 yen per charger installed. The balance of the cost of purchasing and installing chargers, after the NEV Subsidy and local government subsidies provided to primary business entities are subtracted. For maintenance, the consortium will be extending an 8-year subsidy with standard chargers getting up to 85,000 yen per unit, while quick chargers will receive up to 405,000 yen per unit.

The program targets charging facilities recognized to have high public value under the subsidy utilization plans drawn up by local governments. Financial assistance will be made available to those businesses and operations that satisfy certain conditions, such as destination charging spots at commercial facilities and lodging facilities, as well as en-route charging spots at service areas and toll-road parking areas, convenience stores on regular roads, and service stations. Furthermore, an upper limit will be set on the number of chargers per facility to encourage installation of chargers over a wide area in a well-balanced way.

The four companies will also be setting up a management organization by spring of 2014 to run a membership-based charging service, which will collect membership fees and usage charges from electric vehicle users, utilizing the collected money to fund the assistance program. Meanwhile, the businesses that receive subsidies from the assistance program to install chargers will become service providers of the membership-based charging service and will delegate the collection of usage fees to the management organization. Service providers will enjoy benefits such as increased customer traffic from electric vehicle users.

In the current favorable environment of government subsidies for charger installation, the four automakers will actively encourage installation of both standard chargers and quick chargers. The companies hope to promote broader adoption of electric vehicles by building a user-friendly infrastructure and creating a society that can take full advantage of the functions of electric vehicles.