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ESR Group has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation and Daimler Truck Financial Services for collaborating on the electrification of logistics in Japan.

The Hong Kong-listed real estate investment manager, which has $29.9 billion of mainly logistics assets under management in Japan, said the first stage of collaboration would be installation of quick EV chargers for Mitsubishi’s eCanter light trucks at its key distribution centres located in the Greater Tokyo Bay.

The electricity for truck charging will primarily be generated by solar power generation equipment installed on the rooftop of ESR's distribution centres.

Stuart Gibson, ESR co-founder and co-CEO, said: “As the transportation industry shifts towards electrification, the need for efficient and reliable charging solutions for trucks at warehouses is paramount. By leveraging our comprehensive warehouse network, ESR is well-positioned to support our customers’ shift towards electric vehicles for logistics.”

The five areas of collaboration will be:

The growth of electric vehicles (EVs) in Asia Pacific is an opportunity for asset owners, says CBRE.

EV sales in the region have been growing and last year APAC accounted for two-thirds of global EV sales. CBRE’s latest report suggests the number of EV chargers around the region will grow to 10 million by 2030, from 2 million and that landlords have the opportunity to enhance their assets with EV charging installations.

Chargers are becoming more common in shopping malls, as customers charge their vehicles while shopping. For industrial and logistics facilities, there is strong demand for direct current fast chargers as occupiers want more charging points for electrified fleets. Meanwhile Australia, India, Japan, and Singapore plan regulations which will require installation of charging points in new office buildings.

Landlords could partner with or invest in charging point operators as well as building their own infrastructure, CBRE suggested.

“From retail malls and office complexes to industrial warehouses, EV charging infrastructure is fast becoming the norm across Asia Pacific as landlords and occupiers gear up for the electric mobility era,” said Sidharth Dhawan, regional head of alternatives - automotive & flex, Asia Pacific for CBRE.

“Planning for EV charging is a complex process. Property owners and investors need to consider potential challenges when installing EV chargers, such as the long payback periods, and short lifecycle of the charging systems,” said Dr Henry Chin, global head of investor thought leadership & head of research, Asia Pacific for CBRE. 

Greenman Energy has launched “plug & charge” technology for its EV chargers sited on assets of the Greenman OPEN fund.

The fund is one of the largest food retail real estate investment funds in Germany and is also Europe’s largest article 9 fund.

The new technology allows electric vehicles to be automatically recognised by the charging station, making the entire charging process automated. Drivers do not need to scan membership cards or use specific apps.

Greenman Energy, a jv company of Greenman OPEN, began rolling out EV hypercharger stations at the fund's German supermarkets in June. 

Maximilian Bley, CEO & Founder of Greenman Energy, said: “The success of our charging hubs underlines the strategic importance of retail real estate in the revolution of e-mobility. Our analysis has shown that in 97% of cases, charging takes place during supermarket opening hours, and more than 40% of users return regularly. 

“These results illustrate that combining shopping with electric vehicle charging brings a win-win situation for both retailers and customers".

British Land has secured planning approval for an ultra-low carbon logistics hub in Paddington, London. The 121,000 sq ft facility will provide inbound access to HGVs with outbound deliveries via smaller electric vehicles and electric cargo bikes.

The UK real estate investment trust says the new facility will remove around 100 large vans from Paddington’s roads every day, leading to a substantial reduction in emissions compared with the infrastructure previously needed for the deliveries it processes. 

BL has also commissioned two recently-published studies, from UCL and the Centre for London, on urban logistics. Smaller developments, such as the Paddington project, can receive deliveries on a few lorries each day and then deliver on zero emissions vehicles. Such ‘microhubs’ do not need to store goods, only relatively small EVs. 

As well as lowering emissions, use of smaller EVs for last mile delivery reduces noise and congestion and should also cut delivery times. 

Mike Best, head of logistics at BL, said: “The post-pandemic demand for ultrafast deliveries comes with major impacts on emissions, air quality, congestion and road safety, which urban logistics hubs can combat. 

“Replacing traditional vans with sustainable electric vehicles and bikes can deliver carbon savings of up to 90% per parcel alongside the wider positive impact on air quality and wider environment for local communities.”