Japan Nationwide Retailer AEON in talks to offer Electric Car Recharging

June 22, 2008

In the Kansai region where I live it seems like there’s a new AEON mall or Max Valu supermarket going up everywhere. They advertise their store brand (Top Valu) and seem to be doing well in the wake of the Daiei money troubles a few years back.

If you live in Japan and you’ve been to Welcia, Saty, Vivre, Max Valu, Jusco, Ministop, Petcity, Laura Ashley. You probably know their name if you live in other parts of Asia as well. This is the size of the company we’re talking about.

Anyway, according to this Japan Times article Aeon may be working out a plan to offer electric car recharging at their malls in Japan. Japanese companies seem to finally be realizing the importance of services and how getting people in the door leads to sales. (Another incidence is the recent increase in convenience store ATMs and shipping services.)

They are reportedly in talks with Mitsubishi and Fuji heavy industries.

Mitsubishi is planning the “i MiEV”. MiEV stands for “Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle”.

Fuji Heavy Industries (AKA Subaru) is planning the Subaru R1e.

Electric Cars have a slightly limited range in comparison with gasoline fueled cars primarily because of the lack of a network of recharging facilities.

Could this be the beginning of the beginning of the Electric Car revolution? If I knew that I could recharge my car at enough places that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting stuck out of juice somewhere, I’d be one of the first in line to buy an electric car!

Full disclosure: My current car is a hybrid and I love driving past the gas stations! An electric car would be even more fun!

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