Are electric car charging stations taking over Japan?

by Ernie Hernandez on February 17, 2015

gas vs. electric

The real story is the quick chargers

Many in the media lately have been writing about the recent announcement by a Nissan Japan corporate VP that there are more electric car charging stations in Japan than there are gas stations. It’s not much of a stretch to then move on to say that there are more 120 volt outlets in America than gas stations so electric cars win. Let’s take a closer look at the statement though.

Joji Tagawa, Vice President, Investor Relations said that there are 40,000 charge stations including those in private residences, while there are roughly 34,000 gas stations. Each gas station offers multiple pumps though, while only some electric car charging stations offer multiple units. Also, the private residence charge stations aren’t generally available to the public. Of more importance though, which many have missed, is that there will be nearly 3,000 quick charge stations in Japan by the end of March, 2015, almost 6,000 globally, up from just hundreds in 2011 when the LEAF was launched. Below is a look at the quick charge picture in Japan, courtesy of plugshare.com.quick chargers Japan

In fact, there are so many quick chargers there, let me show you the image without the chargers so you can see how big the actual country is. Many of the smaller islands also offer DC quick chargers allowing travel around pretty much the entire country by electric car.

Quick chargers Japan-2

Now let’s take a look at what this same quick charge picture looks like here in the states:

quick chargers us 1502

It seems pretty clear that the need for all of those 240 volt stations in Japan is dramatically reduced if you have enough DC quick charge stations to support your travel needs. In the west and in the east we seem to be moving in the right direction, but we have a long way to go in the middle of the country. The US map does not include Tesla Superchargers as the Model S is the only vehicle that can use them, but it does include CHAdeMO and SAE Combo units. Japan has nearly 3,000 quick chargers. We have less than 1,000 in the US.

Why do all of these quick chargers matter? It’s the rare trip that is over 400 miles a day. Once we get affordable 200 mile electric cars, that trip can be taken with a meal break (who wants to spend 400 miles behind the wheel anyway?)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff Songster February 18, 2015 at 9:46 am

I agree that the real story is the quick chargers… and that Public CHAdeMO is the one other than the Tesla Exclusives… CCS is plodding along with damn few cars even equipped with it among even the corporate partners that demanded it be invented.

As to the middle of our fine country… States that elect Republicans get the government they deserve. That’s why its called fly over country.

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Ernie Hernandez February 18, 2015 at 10:04 am

Jeff – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your comments.

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GlennNDavis May 20, 2016 at 6:24 pm

The silly thing is that in Fairborn OH 45324 near Dayton OH 45401 There are no quick chargers. My attempts to buy a quick charger have all failed. I called Nissan and offered to buy a leaf if i could get a DC Quick Charger. The answer is NO. Nissan claims that their DC QUICK Charger is marketed by AV AreoVironment. The problem is that several calls to aerovironment indicates that the only customers that they would accept are governments and Gas station Style filling stations. I do have a company and this is not sufficient. So the reality is that Nissan is NOT REALLY very INTERESTED IN SELLING QUICK CHARGE STATIONS IN THE USA. CHAdeMO they all tell me is only for “Commercial Customers.” Having a business is not enough!

The same result comes from attempting to buy from FreeWire. They will not even quote a price!

If I had three phase power I could buy from China for about $5000.00 or less from Setec or Yinhe, thru Alibaba.

Siemens has Advertising that they have a venture thru EFACEC (BELGIUM I Think) to sell QC24S single phase 24 kW DCQC / DCFC CHAdeMO units that would draw about 100A + @220-250V. This would make a Nissan Leaf A useful Car to me.

Other options that might work include an extra24KWH battery from giving a 48KWH total battery life. (NOT COMPATIBLE WITH 30KWH battery system!)
The ONLY major issues are less room in the rear compartment behind the rear seats and having to charge once for each battery due to the sheer simplicity of the plan for about $5500.00 and you get to install it yourself! $6500.00 Installed!, If you happen to live near LA!

If anyone succeeds PLEASE tell the world where you got it!

Also, the people in china CLAIM to have 220V Chademo at about 20kW. However all the pictures that i can get from them say input voltages in three phase numbers! I cannot verify it with any of their documentation as of yet! I DO NOT SPEAK CHINESE.
The image one sent me said input was 40A This would give less than 10kw! And cost $5,000. I asked to talk with an engineer to work out the discrepancies. But to no avail!
One does not have UL which means that if there is a melt down there may not be any insurance coverage for lost house, Garage, Car ETC. My experience with UL indicates that UL is likely actually a very minimal standard. I do not know if other standards might satisfy insurers’ policies.

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