Electric Delivery Trucks Hit Streets of Japan

Electric Trucks in TsukubaChiyoda Ward-based automotive research and development company Tokyo R&D is demonstrating its commitment to electric vehicles. As promised last year, practical tests of electric delivery trucks – the first in Japan – are starting this week in Tsukuba City.

The twelve-month practical evaluation, titled The Development and Adoption of Electric Vehicles as Delivery Trucks, was initially selected as a 2011 Technological Development to Counteract Global Warming. It’s part of an initiative taken by the Ministry of the Environment to reduce carbon emissions, and Tsukuba City with its reputation as a center of scientific research is the perfect place to test a fleet of electric trucks.

Seen But Not Heard

Tokyo R&D started the project with a number of partners – ITOCHU and Tokyo’s Institute of Applied Sciences, for example, both of which are still very much with the project. Supermarket giant Kasumi, with stores concentrated mainly in the northern Kanto area (northwest of Tokyo and full of rice fields), is also still on board. The trucks outfitted as mobile sales centers bearing the Kasumi logo and filled with Kasumi products hit the streets of Tsukuba City today.

All the trucks used in the practical evaluation have been modified from traditional gas-powered vehicles to pure electric, using special conversion kits (which yes, you can buy for your own truck); the evaluation will be testing the feasibility of the kits just as much as it tests how well EVs work in the delivery business.

All information gathered during these twelve months will be carefully evaluated before any further decisions are made. While I applaud both Tokyo R&D and Kasumi for this test run of electric trucks, I can’t help but wonder if they’re making their move soon enough, or quickly enough. What do you think? Let us know in the comments, below.

Source | Image: Response.jp.

Charis Michelsen

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.