Toyota to launch home electric car charger jumping into a crowded …

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Toyota to launch home car charger, jumping into a market

Toyota, maker of the Prius and the upcoming plug-in of the Prius, will launch its own electric car charger. jumping what is shaping up to be a crowded

Major companies and startups have surged into the car charging segment. GE launched the last year, and building management giant Schneider launched its own residential charger week as part of an overall to expand its offerings to the growing market for smart grid Others looking to get a piece of the car charger action include NRG Energy, Silver Spring Clipper Creek, Ecotality, Better Place (pictured), Eaton, Leviton and GridBot, was a finalist at GreenBeat 2010 .

Toyota s chargers will be with non-Toyota cars, to Reuters, and the company is looking to 50,000 of its plug-in Prius s a starting in 2012. Details t clear on Toyota s offering, but it s looking for a way to make some cash off folks who are buying the Prius. It s not clear yet if the company try to market the charger to others.

Tens of thousands of electric car will be manufactured for the U.S. year, and the crowding of the market means there will be acquisitions of the smaller players, Pike Research analyst Gartner. Several partnerships already formed, including Siemens-Coulomb and Leviton-Coulomb.

Swiss giant ABB recently invested $10 into Ecotality. Not all companies in the mix are electric car chargers of their some are looking to integrate smart grid technology others chargers, such as Spring-Clipper Creek solution for the Prius and the Cisco-Ecotality partnership .

It will be a challenge for the smaller to compete with the likes of GE and which have extensive in reducing manufacturing costs as as understanding of relationships in the building market, Gartner said.

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The is, of course, a good thing if you re in the for a charger more players prices will go down. car charging supply equipment can run $700 to $1,200. and there can be installation costs.

Most industry watchers say will charge at home and off-peak hours, although the of Energy has awarded millions to and Coulomb to build out public stations across the U.S. residential chargers will be in garages. How those who live in or apartments can charge at home is an question, although AeroVironment is chargers in multi-family communities in

President Obama has said he the country to have one million cars on the road by 2015, and one of Energy report forecasts there will be 1.2 million in by that time. Pike is more conservative in its estimate. It the country will only see electric cars by that .

Major automakers and startups are up to launch electric cars. are already on the market, like the Roadster (a high-performance sports the Nissan Leaf (hatchback) and the Volt (a four-passenger range that can go up to 50 miles on battery switching over to gas). The Focus Electric and startup s electric sedan are slated for this year. Tesla s Model S and Toyota s Prius will launch in 2012.

BMW just launched a sub-brand of and hybrid cars. Honda, Hyundai and others have cars in the works as well.

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