Japanese automakers plan to join hands and expand the number of EV charging stations in the region to speed up sales of this type of vehicles.
Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Honda will share costs to add 12, 000 charging stations in Japan, including 4,000 fast-charging points. Japan currently has 4,700 charging stations, with a third of them being fast chargers. Automakers in Japan have been the leaders in the low- and zero-emission vehicle production in the past years, even if EV sales have not reached the expected levels due to several issues such as range anxiety and higher prices.
Competition is quickly increasing as Tesla has recently presented its innovative system which replaces a run out battery in 90 seconds, faster than the time needed to refill as gasoline tank.
“Japanese auto manufacturers have been global leaders in developing and commercializing electric vehicles,” said Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst in Tokyo. “To achieve higher volume sales, manufacturers need to address the higher initial cost and the perceived limitations of electric vehicles, particularly driving range.”
The most common fast-charger type in Japan is the CHAdeMO, which charges a battery in 30 minutes. Analysts predict that this year EV sales will increase more than 80% to 225,000 units. The top gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle manufacturer is Toyota, although it lagged behind Nissan in EV sales during the first half of the year.