According to Bloomberg Business Japan now has 40,000 charging points versus the country's 34,000 gas station. This growth only took a few years, possibly proving that a transition from oil to electric is feasible.
The figure shows that in the relatively brief time since electric vehicles were introduced, the infrastructure to support them has become bigger than what the oil industry built over decades in the world’s third-biggest economy -- at least by this one measure.
Why that matters is obvious. Nissan’s battery-powered Leaf can travel 84 miles (135 kilometers) on a charge, and the anxiety of being stuck away from home without power has restrained consumer demand. As the charging network expands and batteries become more powerful, that concern will wane.
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