Japan Tops 40,000 Electric Vehicle Chargers Nationwide; Govt Measures Spur 30% Growth From Previous Fiscal Year

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
An EV charger at the local government office in Horonobe, Hokkaido

There were 40,323 chargers for electric vehicles across the nation as of the end of March, an increase of nearly 30% over the past fiscal year, it has been learned.

The rapid growth is a result of government measures to raise its EV charger installation target and increase EV subsidies – the number of chargers had essentially stalled at around 30,000 since fiscal 2016. More and more condominiums have been installing EV chargers, which may boost the use of such vehicles.

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry was expected to release its statistics at a meeting of an expert panel scheduled for Monday.

Some EV chargers can now charge more than one vehicle at the same time. The ministry therefore reviewed its tallying methods and decided to count EV charger plugs, not units, in the latest statistics. As of the end of March, there were 10,128 “quick chargers,” up about 1,100 from the previous year, and 30,195 “regular chargers,” an increase of about 7,000.

About 5,000 chargers were installed at condominium and apartment buildings, about 3,000 at commercial facilities and about 600 at EV dealers.

EV chargers have been installed across the nation since the early 2010s. However, growth had been sluggish after the number grew to about 28,000 in fiscal 2016, because an increasing number of chargers reached the end of their about eight-year lifespan and were removed.

How many EV chargers there are determines how convenient EVs are to use. In 2023, the ministry doubled its EV charger installation target to 300,000 by 2030. It also reviewed the subsidy program for EVs and decided to give preferential treatment to automakers promoting the installation of chargers. The ministry earmarked ¥17.5 billion for EV-related spending in a budget for fiscal 2023, almost three times the previous year’s outlay.

In fiscal 2024, the ministry will further encourage the use of EVs by doubling the budget to ¥36 billion for such purposes as increasing subsidies for the replacement of old chargers. The ministry also cooperates with the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry in asking real estate companies to actively install EV chargers at new condominium and apartment buildings.