Custom autoparts start-up Zerosports Co. will handle the conversion process and hopes to delivers the finished product to the postal service next fiscal year. Zerosports claims that the delivery van will have a 62-mile range and can be recharged in eight hours. The Japanese newspaper Nikkei reports that Zerosports was chosen over major automakers because of the company's ability to undercut the competition's price by as much as 30 percent:
Despite stiff competition from major automakers, Zerosports has shown that a small start-up company can occasionally secure bids to produce vehicles by undercutting the prices of some formidable opponents.Japan Post has been testing electric vehicles from Zerosports, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. and others since 2009 to evaluate their cost and performance. The Japan Post Holdings Co. unit replaces about 3,000 of its delivery and other vehicles every year. It has decided to make one-third of the annual replacements electric vehicles. Gifu Prefecture-based Zerosports is expected to get almost all of the unit's electric vehicle orders for fiscal 2011, which ends in March 2012.
[Source: Nikkei – sub. req. via Green Car Congress | Image: Angie – C.C. License 2.0]