Toyota Motor Corporation has launched an expanded plug-in hybrid charging service that allows Prius PHV owners to use chargers managed by Nippon Charge Service, LLC throughout Japan.
The new optional fee-based service, PHV Drive Support Plus, will commence on December 1, and Toyota started accepting applications today.
As of the end of October, Nippon Charge Service has been working on creating a network of approximately 700 standard chargers, with the network expected to grow to 5,500 chargers during the 2015 fiscal year and further expansion planned thereafter.
Use of the expanded network will require a monthly membership fee of 324 yen and a charging fee of 1.62 yen per minute when using Nippon Charge Service chargers (both prices include consumption tax). To demonstrate the convenience of the system, membership fees and charging fees will be waived for the first six months of membership.
Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, and the Development Bank of Japan Inc. jointly established Nippon Charge Service on May 26 with the purpose of developing of a charging infrastructure network that can be used with a single membership. PHV Drive Support Plus will enable Prius PHV owners to use that network and enjoy the full benefits of the Prius PHV’s fuel efficiency and convenience by charging their vehicles away from home.
Toyota’s existing PHV Drive Support service, launched in January 2012 to coincide with the launch of the Prius PHV, allows use of approximately 1,500 standard chargers currently installed at Toyota dealers.
Membership provides a number of convenient benefits free of charge for three years, including charging at Toyota dealers and the ability to check remaining battery charge or search for charging stations using a smartphone. Now, with the launch of PHV Drive Support Plus, Toyota has made the decision to keep the basic PHV Drive Support service free of charge in the fourth year of ownership.
Comparison of Charging Services for PHV Drive Support and PHV Drive Support Plus