(Bloomberg) — There are more electric-car charging points in Japan than there are gas stations.
That surprising discovery comes from Nissan Motor Co., which reported that 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 gas stations.
The figure shows that in the relatively brief time since electric vehicles were introduced, the infrastructure to support them has become bigger than what the oil industry built over decades in the world’s third-biggest economy — at least by this one measure.
The stark reality however isn’t quite as bright. Only quick DC chargers, which Japan does have many of (mostly the Chademo variety) really do the equivalent of what gas stations do. All of those level 1 and 2 chargers will put 5-30 miles of range ever HOUR which means they are more for parking all day or over night to get any effective range. Also, with most electric cars like Nissan’s Leaf only holding about 85 miles of charge in total, even those quick chargers have to be visited about once every hour of travel.
The future is clearly in the higher power 100+kW chargers and 200 mile batteries if you want to compare to the convenience of gas. But more charging points = better.