Business / Corporate

Portable chargers now available for rent in Tokyo's Odaiba district

by Kantaro Komiya

Contributing Writer

Good news for on-the-go workers and tourists: Tokyo’s popular Odaiba waterfront area is now renting out portable smartphone chargers on a trial basis.

The trial project, running until Dec. 31, was launched earlier this week by Tepco Energy Partner Inc. and railway operator Yurikamome Inc. Users can rent out smartphone chargers for ¥300 at any of 20 rental stations installed at Yurikamome stations and Tokyo Big Sight, the nation’s biggest convention center, among other facilities.

Each rental station is equipped with 30 portable chargers, which have a built-in cable corresponding to a variety of plug-in standards. Users can rent out the batteries by providing their email address and inserting a credit card.

The chargers can be returned to any rental station.

Users have to pay an additional fee of ¥300 per day if they keep the batteries for three or four days and must purchase the device for ¥3,000 if they keep it beyond four days.

“Similar rental services have been quite successful in China and the United States so we judged the project will likely yield decent revenues,” said Yusuke Kunikage of Tepco Energy Partner, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

Kunikage also said the project was launched to cater to the needs of a growing number of foreign tourists in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Games. For tourists from overseas, brochures in English, Korean and Chinese are available at the rental stations, in addition to Japanese.

The Odaiba project follows the launch of the ChargeSPOT rental portable charger service in April by Inforich Inc.

After the trial period, Tepco Energy Partner is eager to expand the operation area of the service, with the aim of installing 10,000 rental stands across Japan by 2020.