Convenience store chain operator Seven-Eleven Japan Co. has launched a door-to-door product delivery service using ultracompact electric vehicles.
A ceremony to mark the official launch of the service was held at the head office of parent firm Seven & i Holdings Co in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on July 30.
Seven-Eleven Japan plans to gradually increase the number of EVs used for deliveries, which covers all products available at its stores. The vehicles are leased from their manufacturer, Toyota Auto Body Co., a Toyota Motor Corp subsidiary, and then loaned out to its franchisees.
The convenience-store company plans to have a fleet of about 100 of the vehicles in Tokyo and 32 other prefectures by the end of August and 200 nationwide by the end of September. It aims to eventually increase that to 3,000 to 4,000 vehicles, focusing mainly on suburban areas.
Seven-Eleven Japan has already been offering a meal-delivery service. The average daily number of orders received for that service jumped from about 3,300 in April to more than 10,000 in late July, as many customers stayed indoors to avoid the summer heat, according to the firm.
"These figures show how strong demand is for door-to-door product-delivery services," said Seven-Eleven Japan President Ryuichi Isaka.