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Nikkei: Japan to more than double output of fast chargers on highway to 90 kW

The Nikkei reports that Japan plans to more than double the output of electric vehicle chargers used at highway service areas. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will require operators to increase the output to at least 90 kW—more than twice the current average—by 2030.

For high traffic areas and other places of heavy demand, plans call for chargers of about 150 kW.

Draft guidelines will be compiled soon.

METI says that existing fast chargers have an average output of around 40 kW. The ministry will subsidize the costs for operators to switch their chargers to 90 kW. The guidelines also will require installation of chargers every 70 kilometers.

The ministry will also promote the introduction of measurement systems with subsidies and other means, and increase the number of pay-as-you-go setups based on the actual charge amount by about fiscal 2025. In other countries, pay-as-you-go has become the norm.

Japan trails the US, Europe and China in the introduction of electric vehicles, with charging less convenient than in other countries. Tesla is installing its own 250 kW chargers. In the US, new federally funded EV charging infrastructure projects (earlier post) must now deliver up to 150kW, as requested by the EV.



90 KW fast chargers are already considered obsolete in Scandinavian countries. They are OK for mall charging, where shop owners want you to stay for an hour or more. New highway chargers are 350KW, shared among multiple plugs.
70 KM between fast chargers is also very unambitious. 30-50 KM is more appropriate.

Is this a symptom, or a cause, of Japanese automakers' poor EV offerings?

Just completed a round trip journey from San Diego to Denver area in a Ford Lightning. Charging speeds were usually 130-177kW. Some chargers were derated to 30kW because of 111F heat in the California/Phoenix desert valleys. I got great charging speeds anywhere the ambient temp was below 100F. Some charge stations were able to deliver > 90kW at 10F + temps.

The Electrify America charge network is very poorly maintained, but at least with 4+ stations at each site, you can usually find one to work properly. They are usually well positioned, and with their big green lighting loops, easy to find even at night.

I have previously traveled San Diego to Phoenix in a Model S with one 15 minute charge stop in Yuma. Full 250kW charging there.

Japan upgrading chargers along the highway to 90kW seems halfhearted, like they are intentionally trailing the available technological capabilities.

Gee, I wonder why they would do that?

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