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IEVS: Japan’s EV Infrastructure Is Massive, Electric Car Sales Not So Much

Sun May 27, 2018 3:48 pm

. . . Japan installed around 7,250 CHAdeMO DC fast chargers (40% of all in the world) as well as more than 20,000 AC Level 2 charging stations. It’s a lot compared to about 120,000 all-electric cars sold in the past 10 years.

On the other hand, sales of the Toyota Prius Plug-In exceed 100,000. Also, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV stands at over 40,000. With all the hybrid car sales of 7.3 million in the past 10 years (both conventional parallel-hybrids and series-hybrids like Nissan e-Power), BEVs are not that much popular.

Representative of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), said that the infrastructure is considered “almost enough for the time being“.

Most CHAdeMO chargers (mostly around 50 kW) in Japan are installed at:

    dealerships – 2,300
    convenience stores – 1,000
    shopping malls – 400
    along highways – nearly 400

The government’s goal is to have fast charger every 9.3 miles (15 km) or within every 19-mile (30-km) radius. To support BEVs, operators can get subsidies of ¥5 million ($47,000) per charger and up to ¥45 million ($420,000) for construction costs.
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Re: IEVS: Japan’s EV Infrastructure Is Massive, Electric Car Sales Not So Much

Sun May 27, 2018 5:15 pm

I hold up this situation to those (particularly Tesla fans) who keep repeating "If you build it, they will come." Because, in the case of Japan, they certainly have not come, at least not in numbers you'd expect.

Japan is more conducive to an all-electric fleet than the US. Shorter driving distances (it's not unusual to see a 10 y/o car with less than 50k miles on the odometer), frequent congestion, and freeway speed limits tend to be low (around 80 km/hr, or 50 MPH) even in rural areas. Japanese prefer taking the bullet train, coach bus, or (increasingly) flying, to long trips by car.

Despite that it appears they have just as many concerns about range anxiety as Americans.
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Re: IEVS: Japan’s EV Infrastructure Is Massive, Electric Car Sales Not So Much

Tue May 29, 2018 2:15 am

It's absolutely impossible to gauge another culture just by those kinds of metrics. This is like saying 'well, Germany has been saying it's doing the Energiewende all that time, why are they lagging so much in EVs?'. The entire country - both Germany and Japan - is built around their major car manufacturers. About the only profitable large industries left in Japan are Toyota, Honda, Nissan, etc. These companies by and large have resisted electric vehicles for as long as possible and are only just starting to come out with competitive, usable alternatives to their ICE cars.

The government of japan, in the meantime, is spineless and will basically bow to any of the automotive giants' wishes. They've been strongarmed into relaxing emissions and EV quotas, have been pushing hydrogen despite major academic opposition and so on. In the end, the culture and history of Japan have shaped their EV adoption rate, not so much their charging infrastructure efforts. You can't undo decades of history like that.

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