Electric car charging station Why is it decreasing?

July 19th, 17:19

As the momentum toward a carbon-free society increases, EV = electric vehicles are attracting attention, but when you get on an EV, you are wondering where you can charge it.

The number of charging stations has increased over the last few years, but in reality, that number has reached a plateau.


(Akira Taruno, Reporter, Ministry of Economic Affairs)

Even though it was increasing with the rising shoulders ...

This year, a survey conducted by a map production company every year yielded surprising results.



Since 2010, when the survey began, the number of charging stations for EVs, which has been increasing steadily, decreased for the first time last year.

Last year, 29,233 charging stations were installed in public places other than residential areas, such as commercial facilities and accommodation facilities, and can be used by anyone.

It was 1087 less than the previous year.

The factor is "aging"

Last year, the government set a goal to turn all new vehicles into electric vehicles such as EVs, hybrid vehicles and fuel cell vehicles by 2035.

Why did the number of charging stations start to decrease at the exact moment when the whole country was about to increase the number of electric vehicles?



One of the factors is "aging".



The service life of the charging stand is estimated to be around 8 years.

Many charging stations in the country were installed in the early 2010s using the national subsidy system, but the number of charging stations that increased rapidly at that time is reaching the end of its useful life.

Charging station to be removed

If it's old, why not update it to a new one?

I think so, but it doesn't seem easy.



In Katsushika Ward, Tokyo, three charging stations were set up in the parking lot of the ward office, but two were removed after entering this event.



It is said that the installation cost per unit was more than 5 million yen, and the annual maintenance cost was about 1 million yen.

According to the person in charge at Katsushika


City Hall, "Recently, there have been many breakdowns. From now on, we will consider measures to increase the number of charging stations for private businesses."

EV is 1% of the total ...

According to the statistics of the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, among the new cars sold in Japan last year, the number of EVs and PHEVs = plug-in hybrid cars that require charging was about 30,000.

It accounts for only about 1% of all passenger cars.



In Tokyo, we also decided to remove the charging station installed by Koto Ward.



The number of local governments and private businesses that decided to remove them when they reached the end of their useful life was due to the fact that the spread of EVs was not keeping up with the number of charging stations.



"E-Mobility Power," a private company that handles the maintenance of charging stations, thinks that the number of EVs and PHEVs must exceed four times the current number before it can get on track as a business.

I can't help if it's a different manufacturer ...

There seems to be a problem not only in the number of charging stations but also in the place where they are installed.

From the user's point of view, it is pointed out that it is not always placed in an easy-to-use place.



The "e-Mobility Power" mentioned earlier covers 6900 of the approximately 7,800 quick chargers in public spaces in Japan, of which approximately 40% are car dealers = car dealers. It seems that it is placed.

Car dealers have set up to improve user convenience as much as possible, and are calling for people to use cars of other companies freely.



However, it may be a little distracting to go to the dealer of company B even though you are using the car of company A.

Can't you put it at a gas station?

Where cars often drop in = How about putting it at a gas station?



This also seems to have safety restrictions.



In Japan, there is a rule that flammable equipment should not be placed within a certain range from the gasoline filler port to prevent fire.

Especially when it comes to gas stations with small urban areas, it can be difficult to keep a certain distance between the fuel filler and the charging station.



Even if it can be installed, it seems that it is difficult to make a profit because it takes time to charge each unit.



On the other hand, looking around the world, Germany, which is focusing on the spread of electric vehicles, has launched a series of measures to improve the charging infrastructure, such as the policy of installing charging stations at gas stations last year.

Easy charging on the road

Under these circumstances, new initiatives have begun.



The stage of the demonstration experiment that started in June 2021 in Yokohama is "on public roads".

For a limited time until March 2022, we installed one quick charging stand on the side of the prefectural road in Yokohama city.



We are exploring ways to put it to practical use by verifying whether the flow of cars will be blocked depending on the usage status of the charging station.

e-Mobility Power President Naoko Yotsuyanagi


"There are not many parking lots in stores in urban areas, and the ratio of condominiums is high, making it difficult to place charging stations. Charging stations are located on public roads in Japan, as in Western countries. But I would like to identify the issues in the demonstration experiment, whether it can be placed. "

According to the city of Yokohama, 230 units have been used in the first month, which is more than the number of general charging stations in the city.

New common sense Charging while running!

??

Research has also begun that overturns the conventional wisdom of "stopping the car and then charging it."



A team at the University of Tokyo is studying a mechanism that generates magnetism on the road, and when a car loaded with a coil that reacts to magnetism runs there, electricity is generated.

In other words, it charges while running the EV.

In the experiment, if you drive 30 meters on a magnetic road, you can charge enough electricity to drive 350 meters.

This "charging while moving".

Experiments on public roads have already begun overseas, such as in Finland and Spain.



The research team says that it will conduct experiments on the road in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture, where the smart city is located, from 2023, aiming for practical use.

Professor Hiroshi Fujimoto, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo


"If it can be installed at regular intervals, I think it will be possible to realize an EV that does not have to worry about the remaining battery level. I want many people to know that it is possible. "

"150,000 units by 2030"

In June, the government set a goal of "increasing the number of charging stations to 150,000, which is five times the current number, by 2030."



The aim is to give momentum to the spread of EVs by expanding the infrastructure network.



However, if the installation location is not "usable", not only will the number of users (= EV, etc.) not increase, but the maintenance of the infrastructure itself will be a heavy burden.



I felt that "matching techniques" such as reviewing rules and breaking through technology will become more and more necessary.

Reporter


Akira Taruno,

Ministry of Economic Affairs


Joined in 2012


After working at Fukushima Broadcasting Station, he has been a


member since 2nd year of

Reiwa.

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