Japan is planning to enhance the deployment of electric vehicle (EV) chargers along highways and increase their output capacity, aiming to stimulate the adoption of EVs, as reported by Nikkei Asia on August 7. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) will set up standards for rapid chargers designed for EVs and plug-in hybrids. By 2030, operators will be obligated to raise the output capacity of these chargers to a minimum of 90 kilowatts (kW), which is over twice the current average of 40 kW. For areas with high traffic and heightened demand, the output capacity will be further raised to approximately 150 kW. Furthermore, METI will soon introduce deployment guidelines, making it mandatory to install chargers every 70 kilometers.
Japan’s objective is to invigorate its sluggish EV market by expanding the installation of EV chargers. According to data from automotive industry research firm MarkLines, EVs accounted for a merely 2% of new vehicle sales in Japan in November 2022. In contrast, China, Germany, and South Korea exhibited much higher figures at 25%, 20%, and 9% respectively. A primary concern among potential EV buyers in Japan is the inadequate availability of charging facilities. While Japan had around 29,000 public charging stations installed in 2021, South Korea, with a smaller population, boasted around 107,000 charging stations. To align with other countries, the Japanese government has set an ambitious goal to establish 150,000 charging points nationalwide by 2030, including 30,000 fast-charging stations capable of outputs exceeding 22 kW.