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In Japan, electric car charging sites surpass gas stations

A survey by the Japanese car manufacturer Nissan revealed that there are more than 40,000 recharging points for electric cars across Japan, surpassing the 34,000 petrol stations scattered around the world’s third largest economy.

The figure includes private Japanese homes with charging points as well as the publicly available rapid charge stations that are now numbering 3,000.
“An important element of the continued market growth is the development of the charging infrastructure,” said Joseph G. Peter, Nissan chief financial officer, during a conference call.
To encourage the establishment of more public and private charging points, the government has been offering subsidies for those who buy electric, hybrid and other low-emission vehicles.

This government support has created a network of public and private power points in the country, a system rarely practiced in other developed countries such as the United States. The U.S. currently has only 9,000 public charging stations, but has 114,500 gas stations.
Support services are also increasing in Japan. For example, the Open Charge Map has an online listing of public charging points and is using GPS to guide motorists to the nearest station.
“Our goal is to avoid the proliferation of independent, conflicting charging location maps/websites/applications and to provide (as much as possible) a reliable single point of reference for charging equipment location information,” said the Open Charge Map.
“Instead of competing with other data providers we aim to cooperate with and provide services to them, in exchange for data sharing and de-duplication efforts.”

However, a gas station has numerous pumps and can serve more cars in a day than an electric vehicle charging site, a thing that Nissan failed to consider in its survey.
As electric cars are becoming a more practical option globally, charging networks also expand.
Tesla Motors has charging stations in the U.S., Europe, Japan and China while at least three other companies, including BMW, planned to build up to 100 fast chargers in the U.S.
It is estimated that the sales of electric vehicles could reach 41 million worldwide by 2040.
For General Motors Chief Executive and Chairman Mary Barra, the electric cars are changing the auto industry at an unparalleled pace.
“We are moving from an industry that, for 100 years, has relied on vehicles that are stand-alone, mechanically controlled and petroleum-fuelled to ones that will soon be interconnected, electronically controlled and fueled by a range of energy sources,” Barra said.
“I believe the auto industry will change more in the next five to 10 years than it has in the last 50, and this gives us the opportunity to make cars more capable, more sustainable and more exciting than ever before.”

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