In a great crisis of “loneliness” are the electric car chargers in Japan. When the country’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, announced that by 2050 the country would become carbonate neutral, few could predict the impasse that was to come.
The country bet on the doctrine of “build chargers, and electrics will come”, but in Japan the EVs still do not have acceptance as in the US, Europe and China.
In 2012, the country launched a $911 million subsidy program to promote electromobility through the construction of a pharaonic network of charging points. But instead of fighting over who will charge their electric vehicle first, the chargers are rotting unexploited.
This is because the installation of thousands of chargers was not accompanied by an increase in demand for electrics, as expected by the competent body of the Japanese government. Today, the share of electrics does not exceed 1%, resulting in a mismatch in the number of chargers and electric vehicles.
Many will think that it is a good future investment, since at some point the number of electrics that will circulate on Japanese roads will multiply. This is not the case, however, as the average lifespan of many charging points is limited to 8 years. Therefore, they either have to undergo costly service, or they must be deducted.
Many times, in fact, their removal is a one-way street, as evidenced by official data from the company Zenrin Co. Last March the chargers on the island were around 29,200, when a 12-month ago they reached 30,300.
“Next year or the year after will be the culmination” of the process of replacing the charging stations, said Tsuyoshi Ito, director of the design department at e-Mobility Power, a joint venture between Tepco Co. and Chubu Electric.
In the future it is necessary to install the chargers in easily accessible locations and we must guarantee that the chargers will not have a common “expiration date”. Only in this way will we achieve “electric progress,” Tsuyoshi Ito added.
Toyota’s strongman and President of japan’s Automobile Manufacturers Association, Akio Toyoda, had sounded the alarm, opposing the practice of sticking to specific medium- and long-term goals.
It should be noted that Japan’s goal is to have 150,000 chargers by 2030.