Green Crossover Project Launch of Low Carbon Transportation System Demonstration Using Clean Energy

May 12, 2010

ITOCHU Corporation (“ITOCHU,” Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President & CEO: Masahiro Okafuji) and participating companies*1 will formally launch on May 17, 2010 the Joint Demonstration Project with Tsukuba City*2 (“Project”), which was previously announced on November 27, 2009.

The Project is to be called the Green Crossover Project, which is a multi-disciplinary, “crossover” approach in realizing a low carbon society through the use of “green energy” generated from solar and other natural energy sources that have a low impact on the global environment, and the development of lithium-ion battery applications. It combines the advanced technologies and products in the environmental field, such as photovoltaic power generation systems, electric vehicles, stationary use of lithium-ion batteries, and information and communications technology (ICT). It is also the first demonstration project of its kind in Japan to be lead by the private sector, to launch a comprehensive system for a low carbon transportation society.

The Project will be launched at the Tsukuba Science City convenience store of FamilyMart Co., Ltd. (“FamilyMart,” Head office: Toshima-ku, Tokyo, President & CEO: Junji Ueda) and Tsukuba Science City East Avenue CS gas station of ITOCHU ENEX Co., Ltd. (“ENEX,” Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President & CEO: Akira Kodera) as the core traffic infrastructure.

  1. Grid Storage System
    The main objective of the Project will be to demonstrate the secondary use business model of lithium-ion car batteries for grid storage. Cost of batteries, which is said to be a major obstacle in expanding the electric vehicle market, will be lowered which will contribute in developing the battery business, which includes recycling as one of its goals. The same type of Enerdel lithium-ion batteries, used in the Project’s electric vehicles, will also be installed at both the FamilyMart Tsukuba Science City store and Tsukuba Science City East Avenue CS gas station. These batteries will store power generated by the photovoltaic power generating system, and supply electricity to the electric vehicles through a quick charger. The aim is to optimize the use of solar energy obtained during the day to run the electric vehicles, and also enable the use of solar power for charging during the night.
  2. Photovoltaic Power Generation System
    This system is installed at both the FamilyMart Tsukuba Science City store and Tsukuba Science City East Avenue CS gas station. In the Project, solar-generated electric power will be mainly used for recharging through the quick charger as part of the transportation system. When energy is not being used in the transportation system, energy will be automatically used in the store through the optimum energy management system which will be demonstrated through the Project.
  3. Quick Charger with User Authentication and Billing Functions
    The quick chargers are installed at both the FamilyMart Tsukuba Science City store and Tsukuba Science City East Avenue CS gas station. Quick chargers that are currently installed in domestic locations are not equipped with any user authentication or billing functions requiring the installers or owners of the quick charging facility to pay for the electricity instead of the actual user. By including user authentication and billing functions, the Project aims at creating a new business model in addition to offering enhanced security and reliability.
  4. Electric Vehicles
    Three electric vehicles will be provided: i) official car for Tsukuba City, ii) company car for FamilyMart, and iii) car for car sharing to be used by Tsukuba citizens. Lithium-ion batteries manufactured by EnerDel have been installed into MAZDA DEMIOs, in cooperation with MAZDA Motor Corporation (Head Office: Aki-gun, Hiroshima, Representative Director, President & CEO: Takashi Yamanouchi).
  5. Car Sharing
    As a part of this environmental project, a car sharing service using electric vehicles that can be used by the citizens and visitors of Tsukuba City will be provided. The Project provides an opportunity to actually use the electric vehicle and car sharing service as well as promote awareness for a low carbon transportation society.
  6. Contactless IC Card with Credit Card Functions
    Billing for car sharing and quick charging as well user ID authentication will be made possible with a single card and the Project aims to establish this new card business model,
  7. Integrated Energy Management System using ICT (Information Communication Technology)
    For the Project, a new integrated energy management system has been developed that consolidates and centrally manages i) data from the car sharing management system, ii) quick charging management system, and iii) store energy management system, in addition to remotely monitoring the usage and depletion level of the lithium-ion batteries at the data center. By gathering and analyzing the various energy flows in the low carbon transportation system, the Project will contribute to the most optimum use of energy, and the establishment of an optimized CO2 reduction model.

The Project, is expected to continue for a period of three years. This low carbon transportation system includes a secondary-use model for using lithium-ion car batteries for grid storage with the aim of reducing battery cost and creating a new battery business model, optimum energy management system for electric vehicles and stores that combine natural energy with ICT, user authentication and billing system for quick chargers, car sharing as well as other businesses. By gathering and analyzing data obtained from the Project, ITOCHU aims to develop a versatile environmental business model that can be replicated in other parts of the world.

Green Crossover Project Concept Diagram


Photovoltaic power generation system installed at FamilyMart Tsukuba Science City store and the electric vehicle.


Photovoltaic power generation system, electric vehicle, and quick charger installed at ENEX Tsukuba Science City East Avenue CS gas station.


*1: List of Cooperating Companies

MAZDA Motor Corporation Provision of base vehicle, modification support, assembled vehicle performance evaluation
FamilyMart Co., Ltd. Provision of convenience store demonstration site (store)
ITOCHU ENEX Co., Ltd. Provision of gas station demonstration site (store)
ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation Provision of ICT technology, data center
Orient Corporation Contactless IC card, credit card settlement functions
Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation Provision of financing function for store facilities
NIPPON CAR SOLUTIONS CO., LTD. Provision of lease function for vehicles
Tokyo R&D Co., Ltd. Conversion to electric vehicles
EnerDel Inc (US) Provision of lithium-ion batteries for vehicles and grid storage
Th!nk (Norway) Provision of vehicle parts
KYUKI CORPORATION Provision of quick charger
SEIKO ELECTRIC CO., LTD. Provision of grid storage system
Ecosystem Japan Co., Ltd. Provision of photovoltaic power generation system
ITOCHU Electronics Corp. Planning and operation of project portal site
Windcar, Inc. Provision of car sharing operation function

*2 Advisory Committee

Tsukuba City
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Japan Japan Automobile Research Institute
The Japan Research Institute, Ltd.