The "Subaru Plug-in Stella Concept (JP version)" for collection and delivery service
The "Subaru Plug-in Stella Concept (JP version)" for collection and delivery service
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The "i MiEV" for business activities
The "i MiEV" for business activities
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An electric vehicle for mail collection
An electric vehicle for mail collection
[Click to enlarge image]

Japan Post Service Co Ltd (JP) will start a field test of electric vehicles (EVs) for its postal service and other business activities.

When the Toyako Summit took place in July 2008, the company used EVs for postal service in the area around the conference site. Some usage conditions, however, influenced the amount of power that the EVs used, it said.

This time, JP will use different types of EVs for its postal service and other activities to verify their mobility, economic performance and contribution to environmental protection activities, for example.

Furthermore, the company will summarize the requirements for a postal service vehicle, such as automotive structure and roadability in various geographic and climatic conditions, with a view to asking for the cooperation of automotive manufacturers in the development of the car.

In the field test, JP will use Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd's "Subaru Plug-in Stella Concept" for its collection and delivery service, and Mitsubishi Motor Corp's "i MiEV" for other business activities.

The Plug-in Stella Concept, after its rear seats are replaced with some shelves, will be deployed to the JP Yokohama Port office in Kanagawa Prefecture for about a year from Dec 2, 2008. JP will examine the vehicle's drive performance in collection and delivery, including its roadability when carrying loads.

The i MiEV will be stationed at JP Ginza office for about two months from Dec 3. The vehicle will be used to visit its client companies, and JP will determine to which region the company can introduce it in view of its capabilities including roadability.

In addition to those EVs, JP will employ four EVs for mail collection from mailboxes and two EVs, which were converted from four light trucks it is currently using. The company will monitor the performance of the iron Li-ion secondary battery mounted on the light trucks, which will be used mainly for collection and delivery.