Here’s an interesting statistics if you’re an eco-conscious person: Japan has more electric-car charging points than gas stations, according to Nissan Motor, the second largest automaker in the country and maker of the world’s best selling electric car – the Leaf.
The carmaker has wrapped the figure in a nice package though – because the number of power points in Japan includes not just fast-chargers or other public access points, but also the ones installed in homes. The tally now stands at 40,000 units for the electric cars and 34,000 gas stations for the traditional internal combustion engine powered cars and trucks. This one measure of collecting data does show that in a relatively short time-span, since electric vehicles were introduced to the market, the infrastructure needed to support them has grown larger than the one built over decades by the oil industry.
And electric cars need all the help they can get: Nissan’s battery-powered Leaf, for example, can only travel 84 miles (135 kilometers) on a charge, with just one car in the world currently capable of besting a 200-miles range: Tesla’s prohibitively expensive Model S luxury electric sedan. Consumer demand for electric vehicles has been driven down not just by the high upfront asking price, but also by the so-called “range-anxiety”: getting stranded in the middle of a road with the battery empty. The concern will dissipate in just two ways: the infrastructure continues to grow and batteries become better, holding the charge needed for a longer driving range under the same conditions.