Japan Post Teams With Honda For Electric Motorcycle Postal Deliveries

1 month ago by Eric Loveday 11

Honda’s Postie Bike Could Go Electric

Japan Post (the nation’s postal delivery service) has teamed up with Honda for a collaborative effort aimed at “the development and establishment of social infrastructure through postal deliveries using electric motorcycles (hereinafter collectively called “electric vehicles”) which will serve as an alternative to the current gasoline-powered delivery motorcycles.”

Gas Honda Postie Bike

Kinda wordy…perhaps an Audi PR person was recently hired at the Japanese company?

What it means is that Honda, a long-time supplier of motorcycles for Japan Post, will focus on developing a replacement electric motorcycle for the delivery service. This replacement will step in for the Honda Postie, which has served delivery duties in Japan for ages now.

From the press release we see these two distinct goals, one related to electric motorcycles and the other connected to charging:

1)Demonstration testing of using electric vehicles for postal delivery operation:
Japan Post will conduct demonstration testing and explore the possibility of introducing electric vehicles to be developed by Honda for postal delivery operation. Though this initiative, the two companies will strive to establish a system and capability where Japan Post can be permanently committed to postal delivery operation while continuously complying with exhaust emission regulations that will become ever more stringent into the future.

2)Demonstration testing of installing charging stations to post offices:
The two companies will conduct demonstration testing of installing charging stations to post offices for electric vehicles that will be used for postal delivery operation by Japan Post. As a future vision, the two companies will also strive to enable post offices with their function as charging stations to serve as infrastructure that contributes to local communities as a convenient place where people get together.

But the biggest takeaway from all of this is probably that Honda will enter the electric motorcycle segment. Let’s hope Honda goes further than just developing an electric postie bike. Imagine Honda competing with the likes of Zero in the electric bike segment. Wouldn’t that be swell.

Some additional info can be found in the press blast:

Japan Post and Honda Enter Discussions on Collaboration Toward the Establishment of Social Infrastructure

TOKYO, Japan Post Co., Ltd. and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today began discussions and signed a memorandum of understanding concerning the development and establishment of social infrastructure through postal deliveries using electric motorcycles (hereinafter collectively called “electric vehicles”) which will serve as an alternative to the current gasoline-powered delivery motorcycles.

During the past approximately half century, Japan Post and Honda have built a cooperative relationship in the pursuit of efficient postal delivery operation through the development and operation of delivery motorcycles.

Amid a growing consciousness concerning the global environment, businesses are expected to act in a more environmentally-responsible manner. This includes making a transition to a recycling-oriented society where limited resources are used more effectively as well as complying with increasingly strict exhaust emissions regulations.

Under such circumstances, Japan Post and Honda will jointly conduct demonstration testing on the use of environmentally-responsible electric vehicles for postal delivery operation and charging stations at post offices. Through such testing, Japan Post and Honda will pursue discussions toward the establishment of social infrastructure which will contribute to the sustainability of the global environment. Moreover, in order to secure the ability to offer sustainable and universally available services for postal businesses, the two companies will discuss how the system and capability as well as the quality of maintenance service for vehicles used for postal delivery can be secured and maintained.

Key discussions toward the collaboration

1.Initiatives toward the establishment of social infrastructure with a vision of utilizing electric vehicles for postal delivery:

1)Demonstration testing of using electric vehicles for postal delivery operation:
Japan Post will conduct demonstration testing and explore the possibility of introducing electric vehicles to be developed by Honda for postal delivery operation. Though this initiative, the two companies will strive to establish a system and capability where Japan Post can be permanently committed to postal delivery operation while continuously complying with exhaust emission regulations that will become ever more stringent into the future.

2)Demonstration testing of installing charging stations to post offices:
The two companies will conduct demonstration testing of installing charging stations to post offices for electric vehicles that will be used for postal delivery operation by Japan Post. As a future vision, the two companies will also strive to enable post offices with their function as charging stations to serve as infrastructure that contributes to local communities as a convenient place where people get together.

2.Initiatives toward the realization of efficient delivery vehicle operations and sustainable and universally available services:

1)Utilization of Honda Biz LINC telematic service for postal delivery operation:
Honda has been developing Honda Biz LINC, a cloud-based solution using location information (GPS function) of a smart phone/tablet and supporting improvement of the efficiency of business operations that involve near-distance traveling with motorcycles and mini-vehicles. Japan Post will conduct demonstration testing utilizing Honda Biz LINC with its postal delivery vehicles and striving to operate their vehicles more efficiently and safely by using functions that enable ascertaining of location information of each vehicle.

2)Establishment of a maintenance structure for motorcycles used by Japan Post for postal delivery:
The two companies will strengthen the Japan-wide maintenance structure for Honda-made motorcycles that are currently being used by Japan Post for its delivery operation so that those motorcycles can be continuously used with peace of mind and strong sense of security. With this initiative, the two companies will strive to support a stable, accurate and safe postal delivery operation by maintaining the optimal condition of delivery motorcycles through proper maintenance.

Tags: , ,

11 responses to "Japan Post Teams With Honda For Electric Motorcycle Postal Deliveries"

  1. Warren says:

    It boggles the mind to think that the Japanese bike makers, who steamrollered everybody when I was kid, haven’t come out with a small electric bike yet. The Chinese make them in the millions, even the Indians are beating them to it.

  2. bibou64 says:

    Hello from France. French Post is using various EV since 2011. Today, is saw the postman with a trike (3 weels), they have eletric bikes too. So, i dont undertand why japan post and Honda are still experimenting….
    Japanese bike makers are late, so late….
    La Poste in France is using Renault Kangoo ZE for years. I think it is a reason why Renault started in EVs, with 4000 or 5000 orders from La poste. Years ago…

    1. Mikael says:

      And since the 70’s in Sweden, with over 5000 EVs in the fleet.

      EVs have been goind postal 😉 for a long time.

  3. Delta says:

    WOW – Honda – that is exciting news.

  4. terminaltrip421 says:

    maybe here’s as good a place as any — is there anywhere to find out exactly where and how many BYD buses there are out there? I like in desert hot springs a fairly small city just north of palm springs and as I was at a stop light the other day I looked over to see a BYD all electric bus which floored me.

    I don’t know the extent of its route or if it’s the only one so I’d like to know if anyone’s kept tabs on where BYD’s buses have been sold so far.

    1. Ambulator says:

      I have not seen that information aggregated anywhere. In California I know of Long Beach, Los Angeles, Solano County (inland from San Francisco), Antelope Valley (Lancaster, Palmdale, etc.). Only because you mentioned it I found that Sunline Transit also has some. The University of California at Irvine has ordered some but I don’t think they’ve arrived yet.

      A total of 300 buses have reportedly been shipped to USA locations.

  5. Four Electrics says:

    And in other news, UPS is now testing their hydrogen delivery trucks.

  6. wavelet says:

    No reason to experiment, as folks say. These EV-Posties already exist, and are much closer to e-bicycles/scooters than e-motorcycles like the ones from Zero or Energica. Top speed of 30-40mph and range of 30-50mi is plenty.

    There’s even a US assembler for them, see:
    http://www.zelectricvehicle.com/18.html

    (just an example — lots of suitable candidates)

    1. Warren says:

      In the US, they are about the only one left, for now. Assembled in the hills of West Virginia, by a father/son duo.

  7. JIMJFOX says:

    The ancient phrase “Sitting on your laurels” springs to mind. British motorcycle makers once ruled the world & British cars were successful.
    Along came- the Japanese! And obliterated the complacent British makers.
    So it goes. Toshiba/Westinghouse next?
    http://www.bbc.com/news/business-39424634

  8. Jason says:

    Isn’t Honda one of the Fuel Cell mob? Maybe they realised a Fuel Cell postal bike wasn’t the right way to go.

Leave a Reply