Japan has more charging stations than petrol stations

Image by Japan Times
Image by Japan Times

There are now more electric vehicle charging points in Japan than there are petrol stations.

Nissan Motor Company reported the number of power points in Japan, including fast-chargers and those in homes, has surged to 40,000 – surpassing the nation’s 34,000 petrol stations.

In the relatively brief period since electric vehicles were introduced to Japan, the supporting infrastructure has boomed.

However, many Japanese believe this is more a reflection on the restrictions placed on electric vehicle drivers, who can have to frequently charge their cars. Nissan’s battery-powered Leaf, for example, can only travel 135km before having to plug in to a charger.

Nonetheless, as the charging network expands and batteries become more powerful, that concern will wane.

As charging stations become more common, electric car support services are also emerging. Open Charge Map operates an online listing of public charging points worldwide.elect A mobile app combines the data with GPS technology to guide drivers to the nearest site.

Tesla Motors Inc also has its own network of charging stations, and BMW and Volkswagen announced in January they are joining the network operated by ChargePoint Inc, and plan to build as many as 100 fast chargers along the busiest corridors of the US coasts.

Northern American utilities are joining in as well. Great Plains Energy, the Kansas City, Missouri-based utility holding company, recently announced plans to build a network of more than 1000 charging stations in the region by mid-2015. Charging will be free to everyone for the first two years.

Original article published by Bloomberg London.