According to a survey by Nissan, Japan today has more electric car charging stops than traditional petrol stations.
Nissan Motor Co., the Japanese carmaker, reported recently that there are less than 35,000 petrol stations to be found nationwide, compared to over 40,000 designated places for charging electric vehicles (including charging points in private homes and almost 3,000 public rapid charge points).
Electric vehicles are relatively new on the mass market, so in most places all over the world infrastructure to power them isn't well developed (yet). But, without a doubt, the car industry is changing rather rapidly and it requires suitable infrastructure to support the transition. Tesla is one of those carmakers that understand this need and has already set up its own network of fast-charging points (which continues to grow), with Volkswagen and BMW teaming up to react the same in the near future - according to Japan Times, they plan to "build as many as 100 fast chargers along the busiest corridors of the U.S. coasts, from Portland to San Diego in the west and from Boston to Washington, in the east."
How come Japan is getting there faster than the rest of the world? Nissan's electric Leaf is said to be able to travel 135 km on a single battery charge, meaning the usual concern people have about the range of EVs and getting stuck in the middle of the way without power is not such a terrible isssue. More and more public charging stations are being built, the batteries are becoming more and more powerful, and the number of electric-car support services is also on the rise, so the 'range anxiety' should soon become a thing of the past.
Another interesting matter pointed out by Japan Times is the fact that the so-called 'sharing economy' is also on the rise (think of Airbnb Inc., online home-sharing service or car-sharing schemes), meaning that people who have the opportunity to charge their EV at home, would probably soon make their chargers available to other drivers for a certain fee.