According to NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, the island nation is aiming, by the mid-2030s, to have all new vehicle sales be hybrid or electric. The move is part of an effort to reach full electrification by 2045 and ultimately to have the entire economy carbon neutral by 2050. There is significant ground to cover to reach these goals, given only about 29 percent of Japan’s 5.2 million new vehicle registrations are hybrid or electric vehicles.
Japan joins the United Kingdom and France in pledging to move to electrified transit. According to Bloomberg, “The U.K. said last month it would end the sale of new cars that run only on fossil fuels by 2030. France has also pledged to take new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles off the market by 2040.”
Similar announcements have not yet to come from the United States, but president-elect Joe Biden has signaled he will support the EV industry by installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging cords by 2030. That would represents a five-fold increase in the nations EV infrastructure, but would cost more than $5 billion. Whether that plan comes to fruition remains to be seen, but any large increase in charging infrastructure would be a boon to the industry that struggles with consumer confidence, especially in regard to reliability and driving radius. According to Edison International Chief Executive Officer Pedro Pizarro, reaching the 500,000 goal is possible but, “it will require a lot of collaboration across utilities, charging companies, charger manufacturers and automakers,” said Pizarro, whose company owns the largest electric utility in Southern California. Finally, while the final composition of the US Senate is yet to be decided, Biden will have to deal with a sizable Republican contingent in the US Senate that may not support such an ambitious undertaking.