TOKYO -- Seven-Eleven Japan will introduce electric trucks to deliver products to its stores in order to reduce distribution costs as drivers become more expensive in shorthanded Japan.
The electric trucks can reduce the operating costs of delivery vehicles by approximately 40% compared to the diesel ones currently used. By employing electric trucks to deliver goods to its approximately 19,000 stores in Japan, the Seven & i Holdings unit will accelerate the logistics reforms undertaken by the retail sector.
The compact electric trucks will start being mass produced by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus as early as this fall. Seven-Eleven is expected to begin operating 25 of the vehicles as soon as this year, mainly in the Tokyo area.
The electric truck's price tag is expected to be more expensive than its diesel counterpart, but Seven-Eleven expects to make up the difference in three years from electric vehicle subsidies earned when purchased and lower operating costs.
Electric vehicles began as passenger cars but are increasingly finding commercial uses. In March, Honda and Japan Post announced that they will conduct demonstration testing for electric delivery motorcycles. Seven-Eleven plans to increase its fleet of electric vehicles after assessing their initial operation.