Toyota, Suzuki, and Daihatsu will introduce a number of mini-commercial van electric vehicles in the 2023 financial year in their bid to achieve carbon neutrality.
The partnership will see Suzuki, Daihatsu, and Toyota jointly develop a BEV system that is suitable for mini-commercial vehicles. These vehicles will combine Suzuki and Daihatsu’s know-how in manufacturing mini vehicles with Toyota’s electrification technology. Meanwhile, Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT) will be involved in the planning process.
Mini-commercial vehicles form an important part in last-mile logistics as their small size allows them to access areas that larger commercial vehicles cannot. The vans developed by the four companies will be used by partners in social implementation projects through the Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo.
The project will begin in January 2023 and will also include the development of light-duty fuel cell electric trucks. Approximately 580 vehicles will initially be used in the project. The program is scheduled to run until March 2030.
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Mini-commercial vehicles account for approximately 60 per cent of Japan’s entire commercial fleet so working on their electrification is important for the country as a whole.
Toyota notes that there remain issues in promoting the electrification of mini-commercial vehicles due to the higher vehicle costs associated with electrification, the costs related to charging infrastructure, and the time required to charge vehicles.
“Suzuki, Daihatsu, Toyota, and CJPT will continue to promote efforts to practically achieve carbon neutrality through the provision of sustainable means of transportation,” the companies said in a statement.
Separately, Toyota has confirmed that it will work with Isuzu Motors and Hino Motors to develop light-duty fuel cell trucks.