Nissan Explains How CHAdeMO Has Reached ‘Critical Mass’ in Japan

Japan’s CHAdeMO fast charging infrastructure has reached “critical mass” and drivers don’t have issues with keeping their plug-in electric vehicles charged, according to a Nissan newsletter.

Nissan’s home country is also home to the CHAdeMO charging protocol. The standard has become Japan’s fast charging standard, with around 7,000 charging points in operation by the spring of this year.

In its second EVolution newsletter, Nissan presented its thoughts on the fast charging infrastructure in Japan, which it says has reached “critical mass.” According to Nissan, the number of quick charge units in Japan (mostly ranging from 20 kW to 50 kW) has increased 20-fold since the launch of the Nissan Leaf in December 2010.

There were only 312 quick chargers installed in Japan at the time of the Leaf launch, Nissan says. By the end of April 2016, that number had increased twenty-fold to around 6,200 at about 7,000 locations nationwide.

Many of the recently installed chargers were subsidized under a special government project, supported by manufacturer investments. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has helped boost development of the charging infrastructure through a subsidy program started in 2012.

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In the past two years, installation of quick charging stations has accelerated, Nissan says. The charging infrastructure has been spreading to highway service and roadside rest areas, parking complexes, and convenience stores.

Nissan attributes success in expanding Japan’s quick-charging infrastructure to three factors. Adopting CHAdeMO as a unified standard from the outset was the first one. The second factor was the decision by the nation to prioritize installation of quick chargers; today, about 60 percent of all quick chargers worldwide are in Japan, the automaker says.

A third factor has been charging station density. At current figures, the density of installed chargers is quite high compared to other countries; the nationwide reach and high density “are reasons Japan is said to be one of the world’s most advanced countries in charging infrastructure readiness,” Nissan said in its newsletter.

Inside EVs