Networkcar, Inc. announced Apr. 24 that it has been awarded a contract with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. to deploy its CAReaders on electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles participating in a car sharing program in Irvine, California. According to the company, Networkcar will equip RAV4 EVs and hybrid Prius vehicles with CAReaders to wirelessly monitor their performance (e.g. battery charge level, mileage) location and other real-time operating parameters.
The car sharing program, ZEV·NET (Zero Emission Vehicle Network Enabled Transport) is said to allow qualified commuters to reserve an EV at the Irvine or Riverside Metrolink train station to commute to a worksite, business meeting or other location. The data Networkcar provides will help ZEV·NET manage the program. For instance, ZEV·NET will be able to check the charge level of a car to make sure the car's battery is adequately charged for each new driver.
Toyota potentially plans to add an additional 100 vehicles over the next year to the EVs and hybrid vehicles currently being used by the ZEV·NET program.
Toyota says its pursuit of the EV market is being driven by a mandate that requires that 10 percent of all new vehicles sold in California meet low emissions standards, with two percent qualified as zero emission vehicles by 2003. Electric vehicles offer a zero emission solution to air pollution, reduce urban noise pollution, and reduce traffic and parking congestion, according to the company.
"The Networkcar CAReader device will give Toyota the opportunity to experiment with remote retrieval of in-vehicle data," said Jim Pisz, national manager partnerships/alliances for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Networkcar's CAReader is a commercially available aftermarket telematics device that sends information on a vehicle's vital signs and satellite-based location over a wireless network to car owners, fleet managers and service providers. About the size of a cellular telephone, the CAReader is compatible with about 100 million vehicles on the road today. It is installed using a standard communications port on most 1996 and newer cars and light and medium duty trucks, and operates maintenance-free for the life of the vehicle, according to Networkcar. The CAReader collects diagnostic information on a vehicle's emissions system, electrical system, engine performance, and fuel system.
"We are looking forward to working with Toyota on this innovative project. The Networkcar system has the ability to provide data for both mainstream fossil fuel vehicles and the electric and hybrid vehicles being used for the ZEV·NET program," said Charles Myers, Networkcar chief executive officer.
Networkcar, Inc. is a provider of services for monitoring the performance, location, and security of consumer and fleet vehicles. The Networkcar Service includes real-time car performance updates, Smart Roadside Assistance, stolen vehicle recovery services and Car Guardian, a feature that allows a car owner to find their car by accessing a secure web page. Reynolds and Reynolds, a provider of integrated information management solutions to the automotive retailing marketplace, is an equity partner and distributor of Networkcar's product. More information on Networkcar can be found at www.networkcar.com