By on February 18, 2015

EV Charger In Japan

Driving around Japan in your EV of choice? Range anxiety likely won’t be an issue, as the nation has more charging points than gas stations.

Per The Japan Times, Nissan discovered the number of such points — including fast and home chargers — now total 40,000. In contrast, there are only 34,000 fuel stations for those in who prefer Rocket Bunnys and Rauh-Welts over Leafs and i3s. The differing figures show how quickly those points have sprung up, especially when it took decades for the oil industry to work its magic in Japan.

However, many of the 40,000 points are in the home, and therefore, not currently accessible to the motoring public. A possible remedy could come in the form of the emerging sharing economy — Airbnb, Car2Go, Uber et al — where homeowners would share their charging point with others for a small fee.

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20 Comments on “Nissan: EV Charging Infrastructure Surpasses Fuel Stations In Japan...”

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    This comes at the same time where the Japanese government and public are hotly debating the closure of additional nuclear power plants.

    Of course, Fukushima has been permanently closed.
    How are the going to cope with the paradox of additional demand and reduced supply?

    • 0 avatar

      EVs should be charged at off peak times, typically overnight. That way, they don’t increase peak demand on the grid.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s a good idea. For it to become a reality there needs to be financial incentives to charge late at night and not when you arrive home from work.

        Not many utilities in the US offer time of use rates. That needs to change. Even better smart meters that determine the best times in real-time based on actual demand, even sell some of the electricity back when its most needed to prevent power outages.

        Why stop at EV’s? Many appliances could and should be run later at night. Such as dishwashers, washing machines. The US is behind Europe in selling appliances with timers or similar technology to make this possible.

        • 0 avatar

          We have an EV rate here in Georgia. Including the fuel recovery fees, we pay a little less than 5 cents per kwh overnight. That puts my cost per mile at less than 2 cents for fuel.

        • 0 avatar

          There is an electric retailer in my area offering a plan with free electricity between 10 PM & 6 AM.

          It makes a lot of sense to acquire a battery pack (possibly from a car that has aged/degraded to the point of needing replacement) and installing it as a load leveler for a building. A Leaf battery is 24 kWh, and it is at end of life when it’s lost 30% capacity (last I heard). That means a ‘dead’ Leaf battery still has >16 kWh of capacity. My home’s base electric consumption is only 5 kWh/day, and more than half the year I’m under that 16 kWh/day limit.

          So, presumably I could pick up a used battery for cheap, install it in my house, program a nighttime charging routine, and have a zero electric bill for more than half the year. Or, I could use that battery (or rather, a fraction of the battery) in conjunction with a solar system to provide nighttime power.

          It is entirely feasible to claim that expanding the EV market has the ability to solve our uneven power production problem–when sufficient consumers have the ability to shift their consumption, power plants can run at their optimum load all the time instead of ramping up for the workday & shutting down at night.

  • avatar

    This was my first thought. How will the average Japanese person react knowing the distant end of the charger is plugged into a nuclear reactor. Still it is likely very practical for a small island nation. Interesting dynamic.

    • 0 avatar

      If they move to coal, the next tsunami will simply leave massive amounts of coal ash in the floodwater. If they manage to build an electric grid without coal or nuclear I will be impressed. I’ll let those who’ve seen it comment on Japans ability to build infrastructure.

      • 0 avatar

        Considering their push for a hydrogen economy (likely extracted from a source of natural gas), they may try to build electric power plants for natural gas or hydrogen.

  • avatar

    Why are they labelled in english?

  • avatar

    What a misleading headline.

    You are comparing gas stations, which are publicly available, to all possible electric vehicle charging stations, including those at people’s homes. One gas station serves hundreds if not thousands of vehicles each day, whereas a home EV charging station serves one (or occasionally two) vehicles owned by the family of concern. After all, one can assume that each owner of an EV has bought one home charging station. A fairer comparison would be to compare the number of gasoline tanks, those installed at gas stations (34,000 x 2 or so) PLUS those installed in vehicles (one per), to the number of EV chargers.

    And you have used data provided by a leading manufacturer of EVs, who wants to promote the idea that their technology is viable for the general public. Did you even look into the number of publicly available charging stations (which is the fair comparison), or did you just copy and paste from the Nissan press release?

    • 0 avatar


    • 0 avatar

      The appropriate comparison is public chargers to public gas pumps (and there are multiple pumps at one gas stations), with the consideration that one car monopolizes a pump for a lot less time than a charger. And maybe, going the other way, the idea that a person with a private charger is a lot less likely to use the public one. You know what, at this point, maybe it’s best to not compare the apples to the oranges on a 1 to 1 basis.

  • avatar

    Correct this isn’t an apples to apples comparison and can be legitimately faulted for that.

    So why did they do this other than as a stunt?

    It does draw attention to the fact that there are a multitude of potential locations to plug your car in which far outnumber the number of gas stations or gas pumps. So a true apple to apples comparison isn’t feasible or even desirable.

    • 0 avatar

      The US also has more EV charge locations than gas stations–virtually every building can be considered an EV charge location.

      A better measurement of potential EV market penetration is the percentage of the population that can have xx% of their driving needs covered by their access to charging. If they have access at home & nowhere else, then if xx% of their driving is within the EV’s range of their home, then they are added to the total. If they have access to public chargers, then it increases their range and thus the percentage of their driving covered.

      Presumably, gas is already at 100%. EVs aren’t, but it would be fascinating if EVs are already at 70% to 80%, which they very may well be.

  • avatar

    Range anxiety is a red herring. Get a plug in hybrid like Volt or C-Max Energi if you need more range.

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