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Forget Smart Cards: This Electric Car Charging Station Is Coin-Operated

Ask any electric car owner to tell you about public charging stations, and they’ll likely show you the wallet full of smart cards and RFID tags.

That’s because most electric car charging stations, with a few exceptions, only give access to pre-registered members.

But what if you could pay for your charge in the same way you pay for parking, with cold, hard cash?

It might sound like a simple idea, but we’ve just learned that it wasn’t until earlier this year that the world’s first mass-produced coin-operated payment machine specifically designed for high-power electric car charging stations finally went on sale.

According to Japan For Sustainability, Fuji Electric Co. of Japan, producer of many products including a range of rapid, direct-current charging stations, began to offer the optional coin-operated accessory to retail customers back in April.

Fast Charging 2011 Nissan Leaf
Designed to fit on any of Fuji’s existing charging stations, the unit allows electric car owners without a smart card to pay with coins instead of a credit card.

Just like a coin-operated washing machine at a Laundromat, a vending machine, or a parking meter, the charging station owner can set their own pricing scheme, while customers pay on a per-kilowatt-hour basis for the electricity they use.


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