Truck Conversion Kits from Japan

Conversion Kits to Electrify your Truck

With the rising fuel costs many of us are opting for electric and hybrid vehicles.  We can see many electric cars in the market, however the technology is little lagging for electric trucks.  There are various reasons why you’d go for electrifying trucks and commercial vehicles – for example, the trucks can be used as a widespread power network in emergencies. Now the good news is that you can electrify your existing conventional truck, using a conversion kit that would be made available soon in Japan by Tokyo R&D and Itochu Corporation.

electric truck kit japan

The Itochu Corporation in Japan have joined hands with Tokyo R&D Co Ltd to give a whole new meaning to the electric trucks and electric passenger cars by providing solar and lithium ion power systems.  With their combined effort and research now, these vehicles have more uses than just as standard delivery vehicles.  They can also be utilized as emergency power supplies and mobile sales centres.  This is a revolution in itself.  The EV Technology has been prevailing in Japan for many years.  But it has never been exploited for commercial purposes. This surely is a great initiative taken up by Tokyo R&D Co Ltd.  One of the renowned Japanese Supermarket Chain, the Kasumi will be utilizing these mobile stores in 2012.

This is an initiative by the Japan’s Ministry of Environment for the year 2011.  It is a new development to counter Global Warming.  Since 2010, ITOCHU has been researching secondary uses of EV Batteries.  Joining hands with Tokyo R&D has given them an added edge. Finally their efforts will be wheeling through roads letting consumers enjoy the privilege of shopping from these moving stores.  Tokyo’s leading institute, the Institute of Applied Sciences that does research and study on energy technology is also a partner in this endeavor.

EV Technology for Cars

EV Technology which is used only for trucks has never been as good as that for passenger cars.  Tokyo R&D Co Ltd’s new venture will change the game a bit. Read more »

Nissan develops 10-minute electric car charger

Nissan develops 10 minute charger for Leaf Electric Car

As everyone knows, the biggest hassle with electric cars is the inordinately long time needed for charging their batteries.  Imagine what a big problem it would be if you suddenly have to rush to the hospital and your car battery is on a low charge.

Currently, it takes around eight long hours to fully charge an EV’s battery. But now we have some good news from Nissan. The automaker says that in collaboration with Japan’s Kansai University, it has developed the necessary technology for charging the batteries that power electric vehicles such as the Mitsubishi iMiEV and Nissan Leaf in just ten minutes.  That too, the charging can be completed without there being any adverse effect on the voltage or the battery storage capacity.  This latest development could make a huge difference to the way electric cars are viewed by people and enhance their acceptance.  Nissan and Kansai University announced that they had been working on creating this new technology for quite some time now.

nissan 10 minute car charger

It was high time something like a ten-minute charger was developed for EVs.  Last year, Pike Research had warned that car makers could face repulsion from consumers because of the extraordinarily long time it takes to recharge an electric car.  The research company said that some consumers would probably feel they have paid too much for their charging equipment and their EV.

The technology breakthrough involves a change in the electrode material used.  The carbon electrode used inside the capacitor is replaced by one made from vanadium oxide and tungsten oxide for boosting power.  Nissan said the new charger model is almost half the size of earlier models of chargers and that this new one would be able to charge electric vehicles manufactured by different auto companies.  Also, the ten-minute charger uses a new compact charge station with less than half the price of the earlier quick charger.  However, with the price still being around US $13,000, it is currently more suited for use in institutions, parking lots, gas stations, and similar places.

Considering that advanced materials and processes are used in the revolutionary new charger, it is obvious that it won’t be readily available in the market so soon.  Secondly, at present there are not enough electric vehicles on the road to speed up the availability, or make this a priority. Nonetheless, Nissan will be continuing with the theoretical work so that by the time there is a larger demand for the quick charger they will have the product ready.

When will Nissan’s 10 minute Electric Car Charger be available?

Unfortunately, according to experts and reliable sources, it would take at least a decade for Nissan to be in a position to commercialize this technology.  But once it is introduced in the market, the electric car industry will certainly take off in a big way.

So we will have to be patient. The good thing is that though it may take some time before charging an electric vehicle becomes as fast and easy as refueling a car at a pump, the day will surely come when this will be possible.

Japanese auto firms defy tsunami paralysis

Following the earthquake and tsunami that had struck Japan on 11 March last year, carmakers in Japan and other parts of the world thought they would have to cope with parts shortages till at least the end of this year. Their fears were justified for many of Japan’s major component manufacturers were based in the heavily devastated north-east regions of the country and were destroyed. But carmakers had underestimated the determination of the people and auto companies of Japan.

Barely six months after the disaster, Japan’s leading automotive groups were exhibiting their latest car models at the motor show at Frankfurt as if nothing catastrophic had happened in Japan.

Didier Leroy, chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe has declared that his company’s
European operations as well as manufacturing activities in Japan had returned to normal levels in June. Nissan and Honda too have made quick recoveries. David Hodgetts, UK managing director of Honda says his factory at Swindon in the UK is once again “up and running”, adding that their four or five day work shifts will soon move on to six days a week.

With the Fukushima nuclear power plant being destroyed, Japanese carmakers also had to come up with ways to contend with severe electricity shortages. For instance, Toyota moved its weekend holidays to Thursday and Friday in the months of July, August and September, so that its factories could continue with manufacturing activities on Saturdays and Sundays when there was less demand for power. Since they were not using their full production capacity in their facilities outside Japan, Toyota also shifted some of the production to its factories in other countries.

This year, Toyota expects to make and sell more cars than last year. Toyota’s Mr. Leroy said his company had sold 808,000 cars in Europe last year. But this year, in spite of the disaster and difficult economical conditions, Toyota expects to sell around 830,000 units. Andy Palmer, executive vice-president, Nissan Motor Company declared that Nissan expects production to increase from 4.2 million last year to around 4.6 million this year, despite the earthquake. Mr. Palmer said that though his company normally competed with its competitors Toyota and Honda, in times of crisis, they all cooperated with each other so that their component suppliers recovered as quickly as possible.

In the US and Canada too, Toyota has made a complete recovery and will soon achieve 100 % production of its Tacoma, RAV4, Tundra, and Lexus RX 350 models. Production of eight other auto models sold in the United States, such as Avalon, Corolla, Camry, Matrix, Sienna, Highlander, Venza, and Sequoia is also on in full swing. Earnings of American auto workers are on the rise as Toyota escalates assembly and production of its vehicles.

Besides, Toyota also recently announced that its plant at Huntsville began production of 4-cylinder engines last month for the Highlander, Camry, RAV4, Sienna, and Venza, and. that production of the Corolla will begin as scheduled this month in Mississippi at Toyota’s 14th North American plant where it is still hiring workers.