Electric Car Charging Stations Outnumber Gas Stations In Japan

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Electric car charging stations

As long as you’re able to overlook a few creative uses of numbers, and take with a grain of salt that the study was done by a company who’d love to sell you an electric car, Bloomberg has reported that Japan now has more electric car charging stations than gas stations. The gap is narrow, but by a count of 40,000 to 34,000 in favor of electric, it’s nice to see that electric vehicles are a more viable option in Japan.

The grain of salt comes from the fact that this study was conducted by Nissan, a Japanese car company selling their electric car, the Nissan Leaf. They are undoubtedly trying to drum up sales in their home country by touting the impressive array of options for charging away from home.  The creative numbers come from the fact that in this study, Nissan included private home charging stations as well as counting all gas stations as one, even if multiple gas pumps were available to service more than one car at a time at any of the stations.

Goofy math aside, this is still a milestone for electric car adoption in Japan, and should hopefully allay some fears for customers about getting stranded away from a charger while travelling.  With most electric vehicles – including the Nissan Leaf – having a relatively small range, it’s very important to have public charging options to spur electric car sales.  While driving range will increase as electric car technology improves, getting stranded without a charging station is definitely a concern with the current crop of fully electric vehicles.

Bloomberg also outlines some efforts being made in the US to add electric car charging stations:

Great Plains Energy Inc., the Kansas City, Missouri-based utility holding company, announced in January plans to build a network of more than 1,000 charging stations in the region by mid-2015. Charging will even be free to everyone for the first two years.

Given that there are only about 9,000 public charging stations in the entire U.S., the initiative gives Kansas City, the nation’s 29th largest metropolitan area, a chance to become the nation’s electric car capital with as much as 10 percent of the nation’s chargers.

Kansas City may not be able to retain that position. PG&E Corp., owner of California’s biggest utility, asked regulators Feb. 9 for permission to build a network of about 25,000 chargers in public areas over a five-year period.

Kansas City just seems to want to show off how tech-savvy they really are: first Google Fiber and now electric car champion, at least temporarily. I’m not going to lie though, both of those things do make Kansas City, MO much more appealing than it would ever be without.

Fuzzy logic or no, Japan’s numbers are a good sign for the adoption of electric vehicles.  With more electric car charging stations come more electric cars looking to be charged.  Now if companies can just figure out a way to get those batteries to charge faster, we’ll be well on our way to zipping around in zero-emission cars.

  Source: Bloomberg
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