Kanagawa, Japan is leading the way in fast-charge EV?s
Andrew Cuchulain ? CleanMPG.com - July 11, 2007
The Li-Ion equipped Mitsubishi iMiEV w/ a range of 100 + miles on a single charge is advancing the future of transportation in Japan.
Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan which includes the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki has started a program to promote the introduction of EV?s. As an Irishman living in Kanagawa, this took me a little by surprise. The program has set a goal of 3,000 EV?s or .1% of the current vehicle population on the road within 5 years and seeks to establish 150 fast recharge centers throughout the area. As a further incentive, the district will reduce parking charges for EV?s at public parking facilities and they will receive decreased toll charges on Japanese highways.
Kanagawa Prefecture has organized events to introduce the benefits of EV?s to the public with test drives of Li-Ion powered vehicles including the Subaru R1e and Mitsubishi iMieV. They have formed a working group between automotive makers including Nissan, Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru), electric utilities including Tokyo electric power company (TEPCO), battery manufacturers including NEC Lamillion, GP Yuasa and Ministry of Environment as well as Universities and Fleet users.
TEPCO has previously announced a program to replace approximately 3,000 vehicles in its fleet with EV?s. It is currently testing 10 Subaru R1e?s and 1 Mitsubishi iMieV. It has developed a fast re-charger and the EV?s under evaluation are fast recharge capable from 0 to 80% SoC in 15 minutes or less. Both Subaru and Mitsubishi, have developed EV?s for this program based on their popular 660cc, Kei class series and will be competitively priced at approximately 1.5 million Yen or $12,000 US. The Kei class of automobiles currently hold 40% of new car market in Japan. With their high fuel economy ratings, they are a major reason for the current decrease in gasoline consumption throughout all of Japan.
As part of a New Energy Strategy 2006, the Japanese government has set up a program to reduce rechargeable battery costs to half by 2010, 1/7th by 2015 and 1/40th by 2030 of current levels as this is considered to be a major impediment to electric vehicle introduction. Although high volume Li-Ion cells are available for laptops, large format Li-Ion cells best suited for EV applications have not been mass produced. The traditional single track scenario was to use fuel cell vehicles with an expected market penetration of 50,000 by 2010. Battery technology is now considered to be the key for all next generation vehicles in Japan.
As battery costs continue to decrease with increasing manufacturing volumes from both the Kanagawa and TEPCO programs, placing EV?s on the road is a first step in the right direction A comparison of the performance goals for both EV?s are shown below. The goals listed for the models under evaluation are minimums with even better performance expected for the actual vehicles once introduced. As we all know from gasoline ICE vehicles, Your Range May Vary (YRMV)
Vehicle Subaru R1e Mitsubishi iMiEV
Vehicle class Kei Kei
Weight 870 kg (1,914 lbs) 1,080 kg (2,380 lbs)
Seats 2 4
Top speed 100 km/h (65mph) 130 km/h (81mph)
Range 80km (50 miles) 130/160*km (81/100* miles)
Battery Li-ion Li-ion
Household charge 200V (5h to 100% SoC) 200V（5/7h to 80% SoC)
100V (8h to 100% SoC) 100V（11/13* to 80% SoC)
Fast Charge Special (15 minutes to 80％ SoC) Special (20/25 minutes to 80% SoC)
Total Charge 9.2 kWh 16/20* kWh
Torque 150Nm 180Nm
*Performance specifications for a fleet monitor version that Mitsubishi plans to introduce in 2007 with increased range.
This is great news! Looks like the hydrogen vehicles will soon be obsolete. That's not surprising, Ford already has a fleet of hydrogen vehicles in testing.
Here we go again, with at least one domestic manufacturer going down the road to hell.
Kei class series and will be competitively priced at approximately 1.5 million Yen or $12,000 US. The Kei class of automobiles currently hold 40% of new car market in Japan. With their high fuel economy ratings, they are a major reason for the current decrease in gasoline consumption throughout all of Japan. That is an excellent price, $12,000.
Its funny though how the kei car seems to be slowly dying out here in japan though. I keep seeing people trying to wedge larger and larger cars into their carports and keep wondering why they dont just buy a honda life! Ill have to keep my eyes peeled for these little electric buggers though...
On a sidenote here the fit is advertised as getting something like (lazy on calculations) 55-60 mpg,