Tokyo to get car recharging sites

TOKYO, JAPAN - Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) plans to set up as many as 200 recharging stations for electric cars around the Japanese capital next year, the Nikkei business daily reported.

But a TEPCO spokesman denied the report and said: "While it is not wrong that TEPCO has completed demonstration tests for devices that charge batteries, we do not at this time have plans to take the initiative in setting up charging locations within the city."

TEPCO, Japan's largest utility, has developed a device that powers an electric car to run 40 km (25 miles) after a five-minute charge and 60 km (37 miles) after a 10-minute charge, the spokesman said.

Car makers such as Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors are preparing to roll out electric vehicles in coming years, amid soaring gasoline fuel prices and concerns about global warming.

Car dealers selling Mitsubishi Motors and Subaru cars made by Fuji Heavy Industries have agreed to have TEPCO's recharging stations at their shops, while supermarket retailer Aeon plans to host them at some outlets.

It said TEPCO would also include carparks, convenience stores, banks and post offices in the charging network it plans to set up in the financial year to March 2010, with the aim of expanding the number of stations to around 1,000 in three years or so.


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