Japan's Cosmo Oil Wants In on the EV Market

Cosmo Oil Gets In On EV LeasingWhile Big Oil doesn’t seem that worried about the slow but steady increase of alternative energy sources and green cars (a hybrid still runs largely on gasoline, after all), in Japan at least one major oil company appears to be hedging its bets. Cosmo Oil, which did ¥2,831 billion worth of business in 2011, has started a new service it calls the “EV Life Support Service.”

Lease an Electric Car from the Gas Company?

Cosmo Oil Company, Ltd., is based in Minato Ward, Tokyo, operates 4 oil refineries around Japan, and has a gas stations liberally scattered throughout the country as well. It’s one of the first to respond to a federal government-based initiative (the 2011 Response for Support of Next-Generation Gas Stations), which is meant to help transition Japan from oil dependency to renewable power.

EV Life Support Service, available starting this month, includes the following:

  • an EV lease
  • installation of a normal charger (rated for 200V)
  • access to Cosmo Oil’s rapid charger service network
  • access to renewable electricity

And the Electricity is Green

The directive Cosmo Oil is following was issued by METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry) through ANRE (Agency for Natural Resources and Energy), and Cosmo Oil is going a little bit above and beyond by installing solar power networks into its service stations. With Green Power Certification issued for the charging stations, EV drivers can recharge their vehicles with 100% green electricity.

The first customer taking advantage of the EV Life Support Service took delivery of the car and associated paperwork at a Japanese-style inn near the Shuzenji hot springs in the city of Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture – a popular tourist destination.

Cosmo Oil has said that it wants to include electric vehicle owners and drivers in its business models in the future – is that foresight or panic? You tell me, in the comments below.

Source: NIKKEI | Image: Nissan.

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.