We love electric cars, but it’s no secret they can be rather frustrating at times. Beyond their generally limited range and expensive MSRPs, it’s the public charging stations that grind our gears the most — but not in the way you might think. Sure, taking hours to fully juice up can try even those with the saintliest levels of patience, but what is truly the most annoying aspect is simply bumbling through our wallets in order to pull out the specific smart card each charger requires.
For an industry that is still in a relative state of infancy you would think different charging station manufacturers would make it easy on customers to simply walk up, charge up, and go, but that isn’t the case. Each charging station, whether it’s a Blink, ChargePoint, or AeroVironment, requires users to be pre-registered and in some cases carry a specific charge card.
But what if you don’t want to go through all that fuss? What if you could simply walk up and throw in some change the same way you would a parking meter?
It seems like a no-brainer, but that luxury hasn’t quite materialized just yet in the United States. However that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, and it looks like a Fuji Electric Co. of Japan is pioneering this simple, user-friendly, method. According to Japan For Sustainability, the Japanese company has begun offering its retail customers a coin-operated accessory that allows users to forgo using a credit card and simply pay with coins instead.
Similar to other coin-operated machines, users simply enter in a time frame they wish to charge and pay per-kilowatt-hour. No credit or smart card required.
There is a drawback though (isn’t there always?): Japan For Sustainability reports that its add-on costs an extra $7,317 on top of the original price of the charging station. That’s no small chunk of change to say the least.
Still, in spite of the high cost of purchasing the coin swallowing add-on unit, we like the idea of having additional methods of paying for our charge. Lugging around all these smart cards is certainly not the “smartest” way, but carrying a pocket full of change doesn’t seem like the best solution either. With modern parking meters allowing us to simply swipe our credit cards we hope that option becomes more widely acceptable as well.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we seemed to have misplaced our charge card.