Toyota, Suzuki, and Daihatsu Motor just shared that they've worked together to develop a fully electric vehicle platform. It will be used for next-gen mini-commercial electric vans. Each company will have its own version, though the three vans appear nearly identical in design based on early images.
According to a press release published by Toyota, the prototype was unveiled at an exhibition event that ran from May 18 through May 21, 2023. The event was planned to highlight automakers' efforts in working together to achieve global neutrality. It was put together by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and the G7 Hiroshima Summit.
The three automakers combined their efforts to develop a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) system that's intended to suit mini-commercial EVs. The companies banked on Suzuki and Daihatsu's experience and success with tiny vehicles and Toyota's technology for electrification.
The upcoming mini-commercial electric vans will be produced by Daihatsu, with each of the three companies bringing their own version to market prior to the end of the 2023 fiscal year.
The automakers are also receiving assistance from Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation related to the electric vans' efficiency and last-mile logistics. The corporation will essentially help with the electric vans' driving range, which is estimated to be about 200 km on a single charge.
While it appears the BEV platform is complete, at least in prototype form, the companies are still in the development stages for the mini-commercial electric vans. The goal is to ensure that the vehicles are capable of meeting the needs of customers in the delivery industry.
As Toyota rethinks its electrification plans, this is yet another step forward that could perhaps convince consumers that the Japanese automaker is finally coming up to the plate in support of EVs. Toyota has a new CEO, Koji Sato, who has made it clear that it's important to accelerate the company's plans for fully electric vehicles.
Perhaps Toyota may use the platform for other future electric passenger vehicles. Head down to the comment section and leave us your thoughts on this news.