BYD and Toyota’s commercial vehicle subsidiary Hino Motors have signed a strategic cooperation agreement in the field of electric vehicles. The agreement initially provides for the joint development of BEV commercial vehicles and will later extend to other areas such as sales.
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According to their own statements, the Chinese and Japanese companies want to use their cooperation to accelerate the worldwide introduction of purely electric commercial vehicles.
Taketo Nakane, Hino’s director and managing director, says that the goal is to develop electric commercial vehicles for customers that “are really advantageous in both practical and economic terms”. Until now, Hino, like its parent company Toyota, has been best known for hybrid vehicles. For example, Hino introduced its first hybrid city bus almost 30 years ago, and the Japanese company is now installing the sixth generation of their hybrid drive system in their commercial vehicles.
Now Hino, together with BYD, wants to focus on purely electric commercial vehicles. The commercial vehicle division of the Chinese company – BYD Commercial Vehicle – offers electric coaches, city buses and trucks, among others. Since the first commercial operation of the all-electric BYD K9 bus in Shenzhen in 2011, BYD has sold more than 50,000 all-electric buses worldwide, according to its own statistics.
Meanwhile, for Hino, the cooperation with BYD is not the first partnership to acquire know-how for the construction of BEV commercial vehicles. Just earlier this month we reported that the cooperation between Hino and VW’s commercial vehicle subsidiary Traton, announced in 2018, is beginning to gain traction. In addition to the joint purchase of parts, an e-mobility team has also been set up to clarify which modules can be jointly developed for an electric drive, they say.
Together with parent company Toyota, Hino is also currently developing a fuel cell truck based on the Hino Profia. This uses technology that Toyota has developed for the next generation of the Mirai. After all, Hino has been involved in the Japanese joint venture EV Common Architecture Spirit since the beginning of 2018, which is also dedicated to developing technologies for electric cars.
Update Wednesday 21 October 2020: About half a year after the announcement of the strategic development cooperation, both companies have now announced that they have agreed to establish a joint venture. This new company is to be established in China in 2021, with BYD and Hino each holding half of the shares.
Now the goal of the cooperation has also been iterated: The company plans to initially launch vehicles under the Hino brand in the first half of the 2020s. The vehicles are to be aimed primarily at the Asian market.
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