Is Japan's lagging EV market ready for takeoff?

TOKYO, Feb 03 ( - Despite boasting an early start with electric vehicles (EVs), Japan has been seen as a laggard in the EV market over the past decade when the rest of the world is actively riding on the transformative shift.

Since Japanese automaker Nissan unveiled the world’s first mass-produced all-electric model LEAF in 2010, the traditional auto powerhouse, for all its established advantages in gasoline cars, has been reluctant to embrace EVs, opting instead to focus on gasoline-electric hybrids. Electric passenger cars have long accounted for less than one percent of new car sales in Japan.

But with the sweeping global EV trend, things are beginning to change as more automakers start to put EV models on the market.

Toyota launched its first mass-produced EV model bZ4X in May last year, and the Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance rolled out electric minivehicle models Sakura and the eK X EV in the summer, which reported strong sales and won the 2022-2023 Japan Car of the Year award.

More EV models are expected to hit the market over the coming years. ...continue reading