Toyota Challenges Coulomb, Better Place With Solar-Powered EV Charging Station

Toyota solar station

Until now, the EV charging station sector has been dominated by high-profile start-ups like Coulomb Technologies and Better Place. Toyota, determined not be left out of what promises to be a booming business, has decided to build charging stations of its own. And in what appears to be an attempt to one-up its competitors, Toyota wants its stations to be solar-powered.

Toyota’s solar station, which was on display at this week’s Tokyo Motor Show, features storage batteries, a communications system and a slew of solar cells capable of generating 100 to 200 volts of electricity. Whether Toyota’s solar cells could provide enough power to juice up a vehicle in real-world conditions remains up in the air, and the company is certainly hedging its bets–Toyota released a non-solar powered EV charging station in Japan a few months ago.

Toyota isn’t the only major carmaker to flirt with charging stations. Nissan is working as fast as it can to deploy EV charging stations across the U.S.

It’s still unclear whether Toyota, Nissan, or a company from the stable of EV charging startups will land on top. The winner(s) will slowly emerge over the next few years as plug-in vehicles start rolling off production lines. Until then, it’s all guesswork.

[Via VentureBeat]AS