In Japan, Vending Machines That Will Charge Your Car

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Vending machines in Tokyo

AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa

Sure, Japanese vending machines got a bad wrap for selling schoolgirls’ underwear, but let’s let bygones be bygones. This week, AFP reports there’s a new reason to cheer the ubiquitous sentinels of Japanese street corners: Soon, thousands of vending machines in Japan will be equipped to charge electric vehicles.

On Monday, a consortium of Japanese companies announced they would be partnering up to install 10,000 electric chargers at vending machine sites by the end of the year. Eventually, says vending machine manufacturer Forking Co., the machines themselves might incorporate the chargers. Forking currently owns over one million vending machines across Japan.

Read more at TIME’s Ecocentric blog.