How Japan Is Leading the Way in Electric Vehicles
Think of electric cars and Nissan is one of the first companies that springs to mind.
In many ways, the Japanese manufacturer’s Leaf model ushered in the new dawn of electric vehicles and is currently the world’s top-selling highway capable electric car.
Today, plug-in vehicles in the Japan have one of the highest adoption rates in the world, after Norway and the Netherlands, and the country shows no signs of stopping as it hopes to become the world leader in this field.
A Changing Nation
Arguably no other pace in the world has been so quick to adopt the infrastructure necessary to make an all-electric future a reality. According to a recent survey by Nissan, there are now more electric car points than petrol stations in the country.
Not only are these charging stations more prevalent, but they are also more powerful than many of the options offered in the rest of the world.
Of the 40,000 stops available, 6,469 are CHAdeMO quick chargers compared to just 3,028 in Europe or 1,686 in the United States. Since these can deliver up to 50kW of power compared to the 19.2kW that is the maximum permitted from standard level two charging stations, these will be able to refuel your vehicle much faster than normal. For low-range (120km/75 miles) electric cars, this could result in a full charge in less than half an hour.
Predicting Future Trends
Despite the fact that plug-in cars currently make up less than 1% of the global market, many industry experts are predicting that we will start to see widespread adoption over the next decade.
So far, electric vehicles have been more expensive than their internal combustion counterparts. By the year 2022, though, this is no longer expected to be the case and, by 2040, long-range electric cars could cost as little as $22,000.
We are already seeing this changes come into place. Both the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3, due to be released next year, aim to finally bring long-range electric vehicles to the public at a mass-market price-point of below $30,000. Tesla Motors, especially, are seen by many as the company pushing for the all-electric future more than any other. Pre-orders for its lower-priced model reached 198,000 units in just the first two days of its announcement.
The Wider Impact
In light of all this, some analysts have theorized that the displaced demand for oil could eventually result in the next oil crisis. When coupled with the trend towards renewable energy sources, the cost of crude oil could drop to as low as $20 per barrel as opposed to the $46 dollar average that sites like IG show it to currently be. This could have drastic consequences on countries like Nigeria and Venezuela whose economies depend on the export of its oil reserves.
However, others have instead pointed to the continued demand from developing countries like Brazil, China, and India. The latter, for instance, has only seventeen passengers cars per 1,000 people, compared to 540 in a fully developed country like Germany. Unless the demand for electric vehicles turns out to far outweigh even the most optimistic projections, these new sales are expected to keep the market afloat for many more years to come
The current market for electric vehicles is fraught with questions of infrasture and changing consumer buying habits. Despite these difficulties, the march toward progress does seem like an inevitability. If there’s one country we can look to best predict the future of electric vehicles, it may just be the land of the rising sun.