More electric vehicles: Japan wants mass adoption of "green" cars

subaru_stella_plug_in_ If there is one country that really believes in the future of electric (battery-powered) vehicles (cars, bikes and even trains), then it’s Japan. And now the country decided it’s time to remove a major barrier to mass adoption: The lack of a large-scale infrastructure with highly standardized norms.

Nissan, Mitsubishi Motors and Subaru’s parent company Fuji Heavy Industries (along with Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)) yesterday announced the set up of a committee in the near future with the aim of spreading and standardizing charging machines.

All three automakers have their own electric vehicles in place: Nissan’s electric car, the Leaf, is scheduled for release in Japan, the US and the Europe in late 2010. Mitsubishi’s i-Miev is already available in Japan. Subaru’s Plug-In Stella (pictured above) went on sale in Nippon just recently.

Apart from Japanese companies, Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, Ford, Fiat, General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citro├źn are working on the streamlining the infrastructure for electric vehicles. Earlier this year, some major automakers announced an electric car plug standard (three points, 400 volt), for example.

In Japan, convenience store chain operator Lawson has begun setting up charging stations for customers owning electric vehicles at selected stores just last Monday. Charging will be completely free.