Toyota, Hino and Isuzu partner up
ISUZU, HINO AND TOYOTA are to collaborate on commercial vehicles battery and fuel cell developments focused on the latter’s computer-aided software engineering (CASE) technologies, the Japanese trio reveal.
Focused on light trucks, the trio plans to jointly work on the development of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), autonomous driving technologies, and electronic platforms.
“While working together on BEVs and FCEVs to reduce vehicle costs, the three companies plan to advance infrastructure-coordinated societal implementation, such as by introducing FCEV trucks to hydrogen-based society demonstrations in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, and accelerate their dissemination initiatives,” they say.
“Also, Isuzu, Hino, and Toyota plan to link their connected technology platforms to build a platform for commercial vehicles that can help solve customers’ problems.
“Through this platform, they intend to provide various logistics solutions that not only help improve commercial vehicle transport efficiencies but also contribute to reducing CO2 emissions.”
It has been a transformative time for Isuzu recently.
With a more heavy-duty focus, the firm entered a 2019 technology link with Volvo globally that saw it gaining control of UD.
Explaining the move, Toyota president Akio Toyoda says CASE developments changes the investment and development playing field for the global automotive enterprise.
“What we are now being called upon to do is refine CASE technologies and disseminate them,” Toyoda continues.
“To achieve that, I arrived at the notion that it is important to implement such technologies through commercial vehicles in unison with infrastructure.
“And there was one more thing. Viewed from a user’s perspective, shippers use both Hino and Isuzu trucks.
“If Hino and Isuzu work together, we would be able to face 80 per cent of Japan’s commercial vehicle customers and come to know their reality.
“And if we used Toyota’s CASE technologies, we may be able to solve many of those customers’ difficulties.”
He adds that the location of the action is motivated by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the region and admits the initiative has his company entering uncharted waters.
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the earthquake disaster, so I was wondering which site I should visit,” Toyoda says.
“As I was thinking about it, I was given an opportunity to visit Namie Town in Fukushima Prefecture, which is advancing initiatives for the future.
“On-site, I was able to talk with Fukushima governor Uchibori and Namie mayor Yoshida about their thoughts on reconstruction.
“One project has advanced since then. Isuzu and Hino fuel cell trucks are carrying goods using green hydrogen produced in Namie Town.
“And we will contribute to the realization of uniform, waste-free delivery by linking ‘make’, ‘transport’, and ‘use’ using connected technology.
“Together with everyone in Fukushima, we will make the work of ‘transport’ people easier and propose new lifestyles to people on the ‘use’ end.
“We are now living in an uncharted era in which we can’t foresee the right direction.
“In such an environment, you first have to try. From there you can see what’s waiting next and try again. Toyota has survived so far by doing so again and again.
“This time, engaging more in the transportation front line, our three companies will work together and try it first.”
To promote their partnership, Isuzu, Hino, and Toyota are establishing Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPTC).
To be headed by Hiroki Nakajima, it is a company for planning CASE technologies and services for commercial vehicles based on discussions among its three parent companies.
“Going forward, Isuzu, Hino, and Toyota intend to deepen their collaboration while openly considering cooperation with other like-minded partners,” they add.
Isuzu Trucks Australia CEO Andrew Harbison welcomed the latest strategic alliance by Isuzu’s parent company in Japan.
“With the building of a connected technology platform another key objective of the collaboration, we see a clear path for Isuzu in this critical response to the challenges facing the commercial vehicle industry and our customers,” Harbison says.
Isuzu and Toyota have agreed on a capital partnership for the project, with Toyota gaining around 5 per cent of Isuzu for Yen42.8 billion (A$510 million), while Isuzu plans to acquire Toyota shares of the same value through a market purchase.