Mazda, EnerDel, Think Global, and others are partnering on a test project that will pair all-electric cars with stationary storage units as charging stations, EnerDel and Mazda announced this past week.
Mazda plans to convert some of its Mazda2 vehicles (known as the Mazda Demios in Japan) to all-electric cars running a Think drivetrain with EnerDel lithium ion batteries.
The Mazda2 (called the Demios in Japan) is expected to become available in the United States in 2010.
The cars will be offered to Japanese customers through a rental car program, called the Tsukuba Environmental Style Test Project, which should be up and running by March 2010 in Tsukuba City, Japan, near Tokyo, according to Mazda.
U.S. battery manufacturer EnerDel has described the test project as the Japanese equivalent to Zipcar in the States, a program in which customers join a car club that offers car rentals on an hourly or daily basis