Japan Upgrading Up To Supercharge Its EV Infrastructure

Japan, known for its technological advancements, is now gearing up to accelerate its electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, signaling a major shift towards a more sustainable future. Recent insights from Nikkei indicate that the nation’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is setting ambitious goals to strengthen its fast-charging network.

Japan Upgrading Up To Supercharge Its EV Infrastructure

One of the key objectives of METI’s plans is to increase the charging power of highway stations. Currently, the average charging power stands at 40 kW; however, this is expected to be boosted to 90 kW by the year 2030. While this represents a significant improvement, it is worth noting that Japan lags behind Europe and the US in this aspect. The conservative 40 kW average can be attributed to the early adoption of 50 kW CHAdeMO chargers during the initial phase of the Nissan Leaf. Despite their widespread installation, these chargers offer suboptimal charging durations due to their limited power capacity.

Nevertheless, the proposed 90 kW charging power, while commendable, may not be sufficient to meet the demands of future EVs. Although certain high-traffic zones may witness the deployment of 150 kW chargers, this pales in comparison to Europe and the US, which boast charging speeds of 250-350 kW, particularly along interstates and other major highways.

METI’s comprehensive approach goes beyond power increments. Their plans also involve denser charger placement, to have a charger available every 44 miles along highways. Incentives in the form of subsidies for charger operators further sweeten the deal. Another notable aspect of METI’s strategy is the transition from time-based to energy-specific pricing. By targeting a pay-per-kWh system, they aim to implement an on-the-go payment model, possibly by 2025. This shift towards transparent and convenient pricing could be a game-changer in attracting more EV users.

METI’s actions undoubtedly align with the global trend towards electrification. However, it is important to exercise caution when it comes to the metrics, particularly in terms of charging power. To fully embrace the spirit of the EV revolution, Japan needs to clearly outline its plans and allocate the necessary resources to achieve its ambitious goals. Japan’s push for EV charging is indeed a significant step in the right direction. However, the country must be mindful of global benchmarks to ensure that its efforts are not overshadowed by other regions. With proper planning and allocation of resources, Japan has the potential to become a global leader in EV infrastructure development. Stay tuned for more updates.