Nikkei. Japan Post Service Co. will purchase approximately 1,000 or so electric vehicles—converted Fuji Heavy minivehicles equipped with a Li-ion battery pack and electric drive—from custom autoparts start-up Zerosports Co. next fiscal year for use in mail collection and deliveries.
The Zerosports van has a range of at least 100 km (62 miles) after an 8-hour charge. It is reportedly priced some 20-30% lower than major automakers’s electric cars.
Japan Post has been testing electric vehicles from Zerosports, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and others since 2009 to evaluate their cost and performance. The Japan Post Holdings Co. unit replaces about 3,000 of its delivery and other vehicles every year. It has decided to make one-third of the annual replacements electric vehicles. Gifu Prefecture-based Zerosports is expected to get almost all of the unit’s electric vehicle orders for fiscal 2011, which ends in March 2012.