ITOCHU Announces Start of Delivery Demonstration Using Battery-Swapping Mini Electric Trucks

November 24, 2022

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) today announced that it commenced delivery demonstration with FamilyMart stores this month as part of the Ministry of the Environment’s “FY2021 Demonstration Project for Combining Development of Battery-Swapping Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy” (hereinafter “the Project”), for which ITOCHU applied and was selected last year. This demonstration uses battery-swapping mini electric trucks developed in collaboration with a partner companies as well as internal battery packs and battery-swapping stations.

The Project is being conducted in collaboration with ITOCHU’s four partner companies Isuzu Motors Ltd., JFE Engineering Corporation, HKS Co., Ltd., and FamilyMart Co., Ltd. As the jointly developed battery-swapping mini electric trucks, battery packs, and battery-swapping stations are almost ready for demonstration, the Project has shifted to a delivery demonstration phase in which battery-swapping mini electric trucks are used as actual FamilyMart delivery vehicles. With the FamilyMart Misato-Chuo Temperature-controlled Logistics center in Misato City, Saitama as the base, two battery-swapping mini electric trucks will be running a store delivery course to about 80 FamilyMart stores, primarily in Misato City and Yashio City in Saitama, delivering mainly sandwiches and other ready-to-eat food products three trips per day. With this battery-swapping mini electric truck, the battery pack can be replaced in about 3 minutes, so it not only is much quicker than conventionally slow charging but also allows for delivery use, with an estimated reduction in CO2 of 6.1 t/year per vehicle compared to an internal combustion vehicle running on diesel. Moreover, there are ongoing discussions about linking with renewable energy by installing solar panels on the roofs of battery-swapping stations.

ITOCHU includes “Enhancing our contribution to and engagement with the SDGs through business activities” in the Basic Policies of the Medium-term Management Plan. With this delivery demonstration, the aim is to check and further improve quality, functionality, and safety to prepare the system for practical application as soon as possible. By promoting the use of electric vehicles for commercial purposes in Japan, ITOCHU is contributing to the decarbonization of logistics networks as well as will contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society, sustainable local communities and a reduction in our global environmental footprint.

Each company’s role and overview of the delivery demonstration

Development of the battery swapping mini electric truck
Developer Isuzu Motors
Car body Truck 1 Truck 2
L x W x H 7,050 x 2,060 x 3,170 mm 7,060 x 2,060 x 3,180 mm
GVW 6,955 kg 7,475 kg
Load 3,000 kg 3,500 kg
Development of battery swapping station
Developer JFE Engineering
The number of batteries to be stored 10 batteries at maximum
Charging speed 20kW x 2 systems
Interconnection with renewable energy Solar power generation panels of approximately 2.8kW are installed on the station’s rooftop.
Development of battery pack
Developer HKS
Registered trademark (application submitted) ExCVB
*Short for “exchangeable commercial vehicle battery”
L x W x H 1,085 x 1,077 x 286 mm
Weight of battery pack 350 kg at maximum
Voltage of battery pack/capacity 350 – 400V / 40kWh
Overview of the delivery demonstration
Demonstration period From November FY2022 to the end of FY2024 (plan)
Vehicle operator Sanfamily
Delivery route From FamilyMart Misato-Chuo Temperature-controlled Logistics center
FamilyMart stores (Misato City and Yashio City, Saitama, etc.)
Cargo temperature 3-8℃ / 18-22℃(two compartments with separate temperature ranges)
Swapping station location FamilyMart Misato Central Constant Temperature Center
Number of trips 3 trips
Number of Vehicles 2 cars
Number of battery packs ExCVB 40kWh x 6 packs (for the time being)
Number of stations 1 unit

Battery-swapping station and battery pack(action for shooting)

Battery-swapping mini electric truck and solar panel

Replacing battery pack (between carburetor and accessories) at battery-swapping station