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Published on March 9th, 2011 | by Tim Tyler

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Japanese Vending Machines Connect With Electric Car Chargers

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March 9th, 2011 by  

How would you like to get a soda, a bag of chips, and charge your electric vehicle at the same time? Well, in Japan, you may soon be able to. Soon, vending machines in Japan will not only have your favorite refreshments and snacks, but will also be able to charge your car.

According to an AFP report:

Ten Japanese companies recently announced plans to install 10,000 electric vehicle chargers at vending machine sites in the first year of their project.

One of the companies is Forking Co., a large vending machine operator tied to companies that own half of the nation’s vending machines — 1.2 million machines. According to The Nikkei, Forking Co. will offer free lease of a charging station for every two vending machines. They will be installed for free and serviced by the involved companies.

SoftBank Telecom and SoftBank Mobile will provide communications services for the charging systems.

One of the biggest concerns with an electric vehicle is that the batteries will go dead before it can reach a charging site, leaving the operator stranded much like he or she would running out of gas.

Since there are so few charging sites available at the moment, the roll-out of new charging locations is a proactive way for electric car makers to address this concern around the world and in the United States.

Some of the new unique ideas for charging stations in the U.S. are as follows:

Cracker Barrel, a restaurant and store chain proud of its old-fashioned style, has recently launched a pilot project to install electric vehicle chargers at 24 Tennessee restaurants. McDonalds unveiled one of their first restaurants with a car charging station back in 2009. Half-Price Books installed Dallas-Forth Worth’s first station last year, and encouraged drivers to shop while waiting for the charger. Starwood Hotels offers charging stations at some of their Element hotel sites.

Although many supporters of electric vehicles are looking at the vending machine chargers as a positive step, some are concerned whether it is appropriate to combine this green technology with a device that dispenses plastic and contributes to the 50 billion plastic bottles that are discarded in the United States alone each year. I’m sure this will become a big issue with these chargers.

I also wonder if the electric vehicle owners will have a tendency to grab a snack each time they charge their vehicle, which may contribute to obesity…. Maybe the vending machine chargers will be stocked with low-calorie and healthy snacks? Guess we will have to wait and see.

Read More: Huffington Post

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Photo Credit:  cole24_

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About the Author

Holds an electronic's engineering degree and is working toward a second degree in IT/web development. Enjoy's renewable energy topic's and has a passion for the environment. Part time writer and web developer, full time husband and father.



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