When it comes to electric vehicles, Japan is speeding ahead of the rest of the world, blissfully free of the range anxiety that afflicts plug-in drivers elsewhere.  The country now has more electric car charging stops than petrol stations, according to a recent survey by Nissan.

The Japanese automaker, whose fully battery-powered Leaf can travel up to 172km (107 miles) on a single charge, said there were more than 40,000 places nationwide where electric car owners could recharge their vehicles, compared with fewer than 35,000 petrol stations.

While the US -where there are currently only 9,000 public charging stations but 114,500 filling stations -and other countries have been slow to develop the infrastructure to encourage electric vehicle take-up, Japanese government subsidies for people buying electric, hybrid and other low-emission cars have spawned a network of public and private power points.

“An important element of the continued market growth is the development of the charging infrastructure,” Joseph G Peter, Nissan’s chief finance officer, told analysts, according to Bloomberg.

While plug-ins are becoming more affordable, potential owners are put off by the fear of finding themselves far from home and unable to recharge.

That is not a problem in Japan, where there are now 6,469 CHAdeMO quick chargers, compared with 3,028 in Europe and 1,686 in the US. When added to lower-level charging stations, the total number of power points in Japan exceeds 40,000.

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