The establishment of an infrastructure to support electric and plug in cars is proceeding rapidly in Japan. According to Bloomberg News, Nissan says there are now 40,000 public and private charging stations in Japan versus only 34,000 gas stations.
The availability of charging stations is an important factor for buyers considering an electric or plug in car. Knowing there are all those stations out there is very comforting for new EV owners still beset by range anxiety. “An important element of the continued market growth is the development of the charging infrastructure,” Joseph G. Peter, Nissan chief financial officer, told analysts on a conference call.
Electric car support services are also emerging. Charging networks like ChargePoint and Tesla have apps that tell drivers where the nearest available charge point is. Those apps interface with GPS to offer drivers turn by turn driving instructions, too.
In the US, new charging stations are being planned. Volkswagen and BMW recently announced a joint campaign with ChargePoint to build 100 fast charger stations along major east coast transportation routes. In Kansas City, Great Plains Energy plans to install 1000 chargers by the end of 2015. Those facilities will be free for all users for the first two years. In California, Pacific Gas & Electric says it will add 25,000 charging stations over the next 5 years. That’s a huge increase in a state that presently has only 3000 chargers total.
The more charging locations there are, the more quickly electric vehicles will move into the mainstream of America’s transportation system.