According to a report issued by Nissan, Japan now has 40,000 EV recharging locations and 35,000 gas stations. The situation is mainly due to a huge governmental stimulus designed to persuade the population into switching to electric and hybrid vehicles.
By contrast, the U.S. has only 9,000 EV charging stations and more than 114,000 gas stations. Nevertheless, many of the Japanese EV charging points belong to private users. Plus, other countries around the world are even slower than the U.S. in building the EV infrastructure.
In Japan, however, the government is directly interested in developing the infrastructure regardless of the automotive industry’s pressures. The Japanese receive subsidies to buy EVs, hybrid cars or low-emission vehicles.
Nissan’s CFO Joseph G Peter noted that EV market’s growth heavily relies on the charging infrastructure. Nissan is the developer of fully electric Leaf, which can run 107 miles on a single charge.
Additionally, a dense recharging infrastructure spares drivers of the range anxiety, or the fear of running out of power before they find another charging point. The Japanese solved the problem with more than 6,000 quick chargers. In the U.S., there are only 1,686 quick chargers.
Nevertheless, the report was criticized for including charging points that belong to private entities. These points are usually used by a single plug-in drivers and are often located in the people’s garages.
So, critics noted that single-user charging stations cannot be used by multiple users like multipurpose refilling stations, so numbers may be exaggerated for Japan.
The EV industry, on the other hand, believes that the privately owned stations could soon become important recharging hubs if a system similar to Airbnb is set in place for plug-in cars.
Enhanced mobile apps that can detect public charging stations through the GPS tech also help ease the fears of plug-in drivers who may see themselves in the middle of nowhere with a flat battery.
Separate reports show that other countries are following suit and investing in charging infrastructure. Industry experts expect 41 million EVs to be sold worldwide by 2040. In the U.S., Asia, and Europe, Tesla Motors is also working on improving the infrastructure, while BMW and other car makers pledges to build up more public charging points in the U.S.
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