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Toyota, Hino and Isuzu partner up

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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.

 ??  ?? Above: Hino and Toyota agreed to jointly develop a heavy-duty fuel cell truck back in April 2020
Above: Hino and Toyota agreed to jointly develop a heavy-duty fuel cell truck back in April 2020

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