Isuzu, Toyota, Hino, and the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation have announced they would jointly plan and develop light-duty fuel cell electric trucks for the mass market. The vehicles are to be introduced from January 2023 and used by the partners at distribution sites in Fukushima and Tokyo.
The aim of the partnership is to promote “the realization of a hydrogen society, as well as carbon neutrality by expanding the options available for customer use and increasing the demand for hydrogen. The companies will also promote the introduction of FC electric trucks to the market along with their widespread use.”
The light-duty trucks are aimed at urban areas and last-mile supply stops, as well as supermarket logistics, for which the partners developed refrigeration and freezing functions, as they are required to drive long distances over extended hours to perform multiple delivery operations in one day. In addition, “They must also meet requirements such as fast refueling capability.”
At the same time, Suzuki, Daihatsu, Toyota, and the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation also agreed to work towards the market introduction of electric commercial mini-vans in 2023. The battery-electric “mini-commercial van” developed by the four companies are to be used by partners in social implementation projects in Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo.
The partners identified what they consider the biggest barriers to EV adoption in society, which include “the increasing burden on society as a whole, including the higher vehicle costs associated with electrification, the costs related to charging infrastructure, and the charging time”. Their response is to develop an affordable vehicle, which is capable of meeting the needs of commercial customers. The partnership is divided up as follows: “CJPT will participate in the planning, and Suzuki, Daihatsu, and Toyota will jointly develop a BEV system suitable for mini-commercial vehicles by combining Suzuki and Daihatsu’s know-how in manufacturing mini vehicles with Toyota’s electrification technology.”
This is not the first partnership to take off between the companies: In February of this year, Toyota, Hino and Isuzu announced plans to develop a battery-electric bus for 2024, while Hino, Isuzu and Toyota have been working on a truck development partnership since early 2021.
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