SoftBank, a Japanese telecommunications and Internet corporation, has come up with a system that should make it easy to bill charging station users only for the amount of electricity their electric vehicle consumes.
According to Japanese news outlet Nikkei, the system works like this:
"When a vehicle’s charging plug is inserted into the stand, information on both the vehicle and the user along with the amount of electricity used is sent to a dedicated server via the Internet. The user is later sent a bill for the electricity."
"Testing will begin on July 20 in Teshima, Kagawa Prefecture, where eight of the charging stands will be installed. Once commercialized, the stands are expected to be used at gas stations and automobile dealerships."
If successfully demoed, the convenience of this system should sell itself.
There's so much confusion right now as hundreds of charging stations here in the US transition from free to pay-per-use. This SoftBank setup, or something similar, could be the answer.
Though not a common name in the US, SoftBank is an established player in Japan. SoftBank was just approved to acquire Sprint Nextel.