By on June 30, 2010

An odd collection of 35 companies and organizations, amongst them the correspondence school Benesse, and the convenience store chain Lawsons, established an association yesterday in Japan to promote electric vehicles. It’s called “APEV,” as in “Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles.” (Apparently, beyond Japan.) There is only one problem …

“Major automakers are not on the list of members,” complains The Nikkei [sub], but APEV says the group is ready to sign them up.

According to the Nikkei, “the group will aim to standardize batteries and chargers.” Trouble is, there already is a consortium with that aim, CHAdeMO. Toyota, Nissan, Tokyo Electric Power Co. and 155 others are members. CHAdeMO wants to set EV standards on an United Nations level.

Head of APEV is Benesse Chairman Soichiro Fukutake. He wants to sign up 500 members in the next two years. Lawson, one of the founding members, currently has charging stations for electric cars at five stores and wants to “introduce charging stations at all stores within three to five years,” said Lawson President Takeshi Niinami.

APEV also “ hopes to play a part in building the related infrastructure, with an eye on providing fundraising support to small and midsize firms entering this field,” says the Nikkei. If they focus on this, and leave the standardization of plugs, batteries and chargers to the big boys, then maybe the association has merit. Anyway, Lawson makes sense. But a correspondence school?

Frightening thought: Will charging your EV take so much time that you can get your PhD while you wait?

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9 Comments on “Japanese Correspondence School Promotes EV Usage...”

  • avatar

    “Will charging your EV take so much time that you can get your PhD while you wait?”

    No just enough time to write your dissertation. I hope for standardization on electric vehicle procalls at least within major industriallized countries if not the world. But I believe it will be a messy process.

  • avatar

    Who is going to pay for the electricity to charge all of these EV’s? Will there be little meters on charging stations with card readers on them to debit your bank card? Who will you buy the electricity from? At what cost? I have yet to hear anyone address this aspect of the charging conundrum.

    • 0 avatar

      You mean to tell me that free electricity won’t just come up out of the ground on little poles wherever I want to park & recharge? That changes the entire equation.

    • 0 avatar

      Honestly that’s likely why the convienence stores want in on this association. Standardized charging stations to sell power to their customers. Now that is a little silly when you think about it. How long will it be until 10 or 20 min of charging actually helps an EV owner? I don’t think any of them are going to spend hours in the store waiting for their ride to charge up.

    • 0 avatar

      … that’s where the correspondence school comes in.

    • 0 avatar

      1996ME, as tongue-in-cheek as your response was, I think most people have some version of that exact scenario in their head when discussing this topic.

    • 0 avatar

      John, that was my point. Actually, being able to charge at a parking meter would be a good idea. They are going to install new meters in Indy that accept debit/credit cards. Why not designate a few as charging stations as well?

      Dan, how many Big Gulps, 2 for $1 hot dogs, and Fun-yuns can one person consume every 100 miles or so?

    • 0 avatar


      the person that pays the electricity bill is the same person that pays the gasoline bill.No free juice.


      It is common in Japan to use convenience stores as point to pay you bills.

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