According to the Japan Times, the number of electric car charging points in Japan now exceeds the number of gas stations. The tally includes fast chargers and home chargers, bringing the total number of electric car charging points in the island country to 40,000, exceeding the country’s 34,000 gas stations.

The number of charging stations should not be considered a measure of the popularity or accessibility of electric cars, however, as many of these stations are located inside private garages. Open Charge Map – an online listing of public charging stations worldwide – helps guide users to public charging stations via a mobile app, while PlugShare maps out charging stations around the world. PlugShare’s network includes private car charging stations that are available for public use, essentially making for a sharing economy model for car-charging. In spite of the increase in number of EV charging stations, gas stations, which have multiple pumps, continue to serve more cars per day.

One of the biggest obstacles to the growth of the electric car market globally has been the dearth of charging stations. Japan leads Europe and the USA combined with the number of CHAdeMO fast charging stations, with 6,469 stations compared to Europe’s 3,028 and America’s 1,686.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), at least 20% of all road transport vehicles must be electric by 2030 if global warming is to be limited to two degrees or less. This would require that more than 100 million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), out of a projected two billion total vehicles, be on the roads by 2030. Currently, there’s only one million in the world.

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