The Rise of Electric Vehicles in Japan

Japan is one of the leading markets in the world for electric vehicles. The land of the rising sun currently boasts the third largest fleet of electric vehicles in the world, with over 150,000 electric vehicles sold in Japan since 2009, falling just behind the USA and China. The quick uptake of electric vehicles in Japan is largely attributable to the pro-electric vehicle stance taken by the Japanese government since the mid 1990’s.

Why Have the Japanese Been So Quick on the Uptake of Electric Vehicles?

Electric Vehicle Charging Japan

The Japanese government were among the first countries to offer incentives to electric vehicle owners in 1996 and have been committed to developing the electric vehicle market over the past twenty years. In 2009, the Green Vehicle Purchasing Promotion Measure was introduced, which offered tax deductions and exemptions in order to encourage early adopters to choose electric vehicles over traditional vehicles.

Development of the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

As well as offering incentives to electric vehicle owners, the Japanese government have invested heavily in the development of a charging infrastructure across Japan. In 2013, the Japanese government enlisted the help of Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi to build a user friendly electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The partnership, Nippon Charge Service, offered financial assistance to businesses offering charging points in key locations across the country. The partnership targeted charging facilities that had high public value, such as commercial facilities, service stations and convenience stores.
The partnership seen the number of electric car charge points in Japan overtake the number of petrol stations in early 2016. In a study conducted in 2016, it was found that there are now over 40,000 charging points in Japan, compared to 34,000 petrol stations. This is a huge achievement, considering the number of electric vehicle charging points in the USA is a mere 14,349.

The Key to Success

The key to the success of the electric vehicle market in Japan is threefold – a committed government, support from the automotive industry and user friendly infrastructure. For countries looking to become a prominent player in the electric vehicle market, Japan is a shining example.

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