Recharging tired EVs and plug-in hybrids in Japan just got a little more exciting thanks to Toyota
's upcoming G-Station charger, which relies on contact-less smart-cards to identify vehicles and owners. Toyota's Windows Azure-powered
Smart Center drives the machines, which allows users to connect to the internet and use smartphone apps to find chargers, receive notifications, and check usage history. The G-Station will be coming this July in two flavors, creatively named Type A for the standard and Type B for the more advanced model. Pricing for the aforementioned units will be 280,000 yen ($3,469 USD) and 448,000 yen ($5,549 USD) respectively. Toyota is expecting to sell around 3,000 units by the end of 2012, making these stations available to its retail car dealers, shopping malls and restaurants. Soon the outside of pachinko parlors will be just as electric as the inside.