This year’s Tokyo Motor Show was dominated by the Nippon market, Alpina and Lotus being the only foreigners with a stand at the show. Big companies like Daihatsu, Honda, Toyota, Suzuki, Nissan and Mitsubishi presented a lot of new concepts and hybrid or electric cars. Some of the companies brought to attention developments of innovative, alternative sources to power the plug-in cars. Toyota, for example, came with a design of an electric car charging station made of solar cells and storage batteries.
The concept is very simple indeed: electricity is produced by the solar cells, stored in the batteries which will be able to charge the EV. Showa Shell Sekiyu KK and Nissan Motor Co Ltd also announced in August 2009 that they would jointly develop a similar system. The charging station presented by Toyota Industries has a communication function and can supply 100/200V electricity.
Mobile networks and LANs will be used to transmit the authentication information of the users, the amount of charge and other information to a central data office. The charging station which was developed in collaboration with Nitto Kogyo Corp will be released on the market in 2010 and will cost several hundred thousand yens.
Toyota did not stop their presentation and after the charging station. They continued with a prototype battery charger that can be mounted into the EV. This type of charger can convert AC into DC current and boost the voltage from 100/200V to 300/400V. By this, a secondary battery of plug-in hybrid vehicle could be charged – for example increasing the autonomy of the car.