227 new charging spots for electric vehicles

Okinawa Prefecture announced plans to install new charging stations for electric vehicles throughout Okinawa in the near future. The project calls for installing a total of 227 EV chargers in all areas of the island to allow driving electric cars smoother and more comfortable. Prefecture officials add that they plan to use a subsidy from the central government for the project, and expect the number of electric vehicles to increase. They add that the project will also support the next stage vehicles of the future.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, EV quick chargers cost more than ¥1,000,000 each, and even a regular charger costs several hundred thousand yen. There is now in place a supporting subsidy system from the government, where the government subsidy will pay 2/3 of the cost of installing the system and equipment, if the charger set up on the road side for all public to use and not limited to a certain group of people. For all other installations, like if the charger is meant for use for a company fleet of vehicles, taxis, or rental cars only, the government subsidy covers half.

According to Okinawa Prefecture, there are currently quick chargers installed at 28 places and regular chargers at 34 locations in Okinawa, including major sightseeing places and hotels. But according to a survey, 60% of tourists who drive electric vehicles in Okinawa say the number is not nearly enough yet. They worry about driving electric cars because of the few charging spots here.

Okinawa Prefecture advocates installation of the new EV chargers quickly in 64 locations at gas stations and convenience stores along national roads and major local roads. They envision that the chargers would be located at the intervals of 10-30 km each. For the remaining 163 spots they are requesting suggestions from each municipality, but think they should go to public facilities, hospitals and other high-traffic locations..