February 18th, 2015 by
Japan is now home to more electric vehicle (EV) charging points than gas stations – with there now being more 40,000 EV charging points as compared to 34,000 gas stations, according to recent reports. That’s not even including normal electrical sockets, where electric cars can also charge. Of course the comparison does include the EV charging points installed at homes – but still, that’s pretty impressive. And no doubt a comparison that will become more and more lopsided in favor of EV charging stations over the coming years.
The new figures are coming to us via a recent report from one of Japan’s leading EV manufacturers, Nissan – which has, to date, sold more than 160,000 LEAFs since the launch of that model a few years ago.
Despite those global sales numbers, though, sales in Japan have not been quite as high as the company hoped – reportedly in part due to concerns about not finding a charging station when needed and running the battery dry. Hence the rapid buildout over recent years.
“An important element of the continued market growth is the development of the charging infrastructure,” noted Nissan chief financial officer, Joseph G Peter, during a recent conference call with analysts.
RenewEconomy provides some information on growth of infrastructure elsewhere in the world:
In Australia, local fast-charge tech company, Tritium, installed its first public Veefil EV charger in Brisbane at a BMW dealership in Fortitude Valley – the first of a planned “electric super highway” of fast chargers along the east coast.And in the US, BMW and Volkswagen have agreed to join the EV charging network operated by ChargePoint, and to help finance the roll-out of up to 100 fast chargers along the busiest corridors of the US coasts.And just last week, US utility Pacific Gas & Electric filed a proposal for $654 million in ratepayer dollars to build 25,000 electric vehicle charging stations in public places in northern and central California – the leading market for EVs in the US.A month earlier, in January, Kansas utility Great Plains Energy, announced plans to build a network of more than 1,000 charging stations in the region by mid-2015, with charging to be free to the public for the first two years.
And then, of course, there’s Tesla’s rather rapid rollout of charging stations throughout its biggest markets. (See: North American Tesla Supercharger Network Surpasses CHAdeMO In Charging Point Numbers)
Given that there are still some decent incentives in place in Japan for EV infrastructure development, it seems likely that the network there will continue growing relatively rapidly.
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About the Author
James Ayre ‘s background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.