US manufacturer Cenntro has sold 2,000 electric vehicles to Japan with Amazon Fleet and Hana Cupid among the first to deploy these minivans called Metro. The EV is also the first vehicle not made in Japan to have received Kei-car approval.
To be considered Kei-car, strict size requirements apply, while benefits include not requiring proof of a dedicated parking spot. The Cenntro Metro, called ELEMO-K in Japan, is thus similar to other electric light vehicles; in addition to the Japanese Kei-Car specifications, it also complies with the US LSV class (Low-Speed Vehicles) and the European L7e.
Cenntro does not provide technical data for the Kei-Car version. The L7e model, however, has a 24 kW electric rear drive, a payload of 500 kilograms or 3.6 cubic meters of cargo volume, depending on the body. There are several configurations such as cargo boxes, flatbeds, refrigerated boxes, or pickup with racks. The claimed range is 176 km or 109 miles with a top speed of 85 kph (35 mph for the US version). The battery is only specified as Li-ion and operating voltage of 86.4 VDC.
The order from Japan was placed through HW Electro which will resell the vehicles to various delivery and logistics companies looking to electrify their last-mile delivery operations. Accordingly, Amazon Fleet and Hanna Cupid have been won as first customers.
“HW ELECTRO has established deep relationships with renowned companies in Japan’s transportation and logistics sector. They are an excellent strategic partner to introduce our vehicles throughout the country,” said Peter Wang, Cenntro’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He added, Japan was a “key strategic market” for the company.
Cenntro claims it has delivered more than 3,300 vehicles in 26 countries. However, these include the Logistar 400, a much larger delivery van than the Kei-Car model. The Metro is mainly sold in Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Israel, so Cenntro.
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