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Japan Post May Switch to Electric Delivery Vehicles

Reuters reports that Japan Post Service Co., the mail delivery unit of Japan Post Group, is exploring the feasibility of transitioning its entire fleet of some 21,000 delivery vehicles to electric vehicles beginning this business year.

“We’re discussing the feasibility with automakers and battery makers to that end,” said a spokesman at Japan Post Service Co, the mail delivery unit of Japan Post Group.

Depending on how fast the cars and necessary infrastructure such as recharging stations could be ready, the company may use some gasoline-electric hybrid cars in the interim, he said.

(A hat-tip to John!)

Comments

Stan Wellaway

This is a pretty dramatic move. I know it isn't yet a commitment as such, but it is nevertheless a pretty solid acceptance of the logic of depot-based delivery fleets being suited to the use of EVs - a concept already proven in the UK where Smith Electric Vehicles are having to open a new factory to cope with demand - and where the Royal Mail is trialling Smith Edison and Smith Newton all-electric vans. The Royal Mail has about 33,000 vehicles in its fleet.

And we've already seen France's postal service, La Poste, announce a programme for using 10,000 electric delivery vehicles.

clett

Agreed. So will it be French, British or Japanese post that goes all-electric first? The race is on!

That carrot has to be so big that at least one of the major manufacturers is going to bite (my guess Nissan or Subaru).

HarveyD

Postal & Parcel Services (public and private), with over 1 000 000 vehicles, are ideal large testing grounds for PHEVs and BEVs.

Over one million battery packs is enough to support mass production of up to 10 sources and test various battery types in real world operations. The total number could be multiplied with other delivery vehicles.

Will private car BEVs come out before, after or concurrently with Postal Services BEVs?

John Taylor

Japan Post Group, transitioning 21,000 delivery vehicles to electric vehicles
The Royal Mail with 33,000 vehicles to change.
France's postal service, La Poste, announced 10,000 electric delivery vehicles.
Canada's Purolator courier began production of an all electric truck. Their fleet has more than 3000 vehicles.

The switch to BEV delivery trucks is just beginning, but may be the fastest growth industry ever.

Neil

Add to that list courier company trucks.

Reality Czech

There were tests of electric postal vehicles after the 1970's oil price shocks. It's deja vu all over again.

Stan Wellaway

At the Commercial Vehicles Show CV-2008 (NEC, Birmingham, UK) in April, several makers of all-electric delivery vans appeared on the scene. Obviously they have seen Smith and Modec prove there is a market and prove that all-electric trucks and vans can sell - and now they all want a piece of the action.

We may still be a couple of years away from seeing electric cars from mainstream makers, but in the commercial field things are certainly moving ahead fast.

I used to work as a rural postman. I know the way they work their local delivery fleets, and I know that electric vans will suit them just fine.

Barry Kellow

"Electric vehicle technology is especially well suited for delivery vehicles because postal vehicles use minimal energy when idle and can recapture kinetic energy from frequent braking. Unlike passenger vehicles, delivery vehicles do not need a publicly available charging infrastructure because they return to a central depot where they can be recharged overnight. And whereas passenger vehicles cover trips that may be beyond the range of an EV, postal vehicles have defined routes and travel a set distance each day."

(Robert Myers, University of Michigan, Dearborn)

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Basil Dimitropoulos

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The answer to OPEC is the electric vehicles at http://www.energynews.gr

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Basil Dimitropoulos
Electrical Engineer
104 - 106 Kremou Street, Kallithea, Athens 176-76 GREECE
TEL: +30-210-9590530

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