With 40,000 charge points installed in Japan, the country now has more places to recharge an electric vehicle than it has gas stations.
This report comes from Nissan Motor Co., which also tallied a total of 34,000 Japanese gas stations.
“It’s definitely the sort of number that really crystallizes that progress that’s been made early on to try and get charging infrastructure up and running in Japan and get these electric vehicles selling at greater numbers,” said Bloomberg News Auto Reporter Craig Trudell.
For Nissan (its all-electric Leaf has an 84-mile range) it’s imperative to let people know there are plenty of charging stations available that can accommodate consumers driving an EV daily.
Expanding the recharging infrastructure, both in the U.S. and abroad, has become a high priority for many automakers. Volkswagen, BMW and Tesla are a few of the companies investing in charging stations in the hopes of alleviating range anxiety.
Automakers are also addressing problems over charging misconceptions and installations, which have affected EV sales in other Asian markets.
“You’ve heard [Tesla CEO] Elon Musk actually point out the fact that one of the things that’s really holding them back is this perception that charging is very difficult in China, including charging at home,” said Trudell. “Japan is not in that situation, and that’s something that Nissan is really trying to point out here.”
The announcement over Japan’s large number of charging stations isn’t completely straightforward, however.
“There’s certainly some holes that can be poked in these numbers,” said Trudell. “You’re making a comparison here between charging points and gas stations that have several places to refuel. They’re also counting in their number the number of home charging points.
“And look, this still doesn’t get to another big concern if you’re a buyer, in terms of how long it takes to recharge, regardless of how many options you have in terms of where you can recharge. So that’s still a challenge for the Leaf and electric vehicles going forward.”