Japan introducing new EV charging standards, encouraging uptake

  • Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry plans to bring in new regulations for the minimum charging speed required at EV fast charging points across the country.
  • These planned regulations will also stipulate chargers to be installed every 70km on highways.
  • Operators will need to more than double the current average charging rate of 40kW to a minimum of 90kW.

Japan’s EV uptake gets some encouragement

The Japanese government plans to bring in a wealth of new regulations surrounding fast charging and the EV charging infrastructure as a whole in the country, according to a report from Nikkei Asia.

Firstly, the relatively low average chargepoint output in the country, 40kW, will be pushed to increase to an average of 90kW. In areas of high demand, these rules will stipulate a higher average 150kW charging rate. The government will assist the chargepoint operators in reaching these new targets with subsidies.

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These charge rates pale in comparison to the fastest chargers, such as the 300kW points that are beginning to pop up around Europe. However, it’s important to note that Japan is behind many countries when it comes to EV adoption, as we discovered on a recent trip to the country. Therefore, over doubling the average speed of fast chargers in Japan is still no mean feat.

Japanese charging points also tend to charge users by time plugged in, rather than per kwh. The rules also plan to introduce new measurements for charging users, along with ‘pay-as-you-go’ setups that won’t require the use of specific cards or apps.

Chargers every 70km

Another rule will ensure that chargepoints are located every 70km on major highways, allowing those in Japan to do cross-country roadtrips with ease. That’s similar to a rule that the European Union will be bringing in soon, which will see EV chargers placed every 60km on trunk roads.

There’s no word on when these rules will come into effect, but they will certainly be necessary if the country still wants new car sales to consist of EVs by 2035 – so far, just 2.1% of passenger car sales last year in Japan were electric vehicles, even though the country brought one of the first mass-produced EVs to the world in the form of the original Nissan Leaf.

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