Toyota subsidiary Hino Motors and e-mobility firm REE Automotive has signed a strategic business alliance for next-generation commercial mobility.
Hino and REE made the deal to move beyond commercial vehicles supporting the movement of people and goods into mobility that provides new value and opportunities for society, the firms said.
Hino and REE’s next-generation electric commercial mobility solutions are geared to improve quality of life on a global scale by lowering carbon emissions, minimising strain on infrastructure, reducing congestion and allowing companies to better allocate resources, they said.
The two companies will combine their advantages to realise this vision with Hino providing knowledge and technologies as a commercial vehicle manufacturer and REE offering technologies.
The solution that will be jointly developed by Hino and REE comprises a modular platform carrying a customised mobility service module on top. The Mobility Service Module, which will carry passengers, goods and deliver services, would address a wide variety of current and future applications aligned with customer requirements, aimed to provide new value to society, and will be enhanced with data-driven services.
In addition, the module can be easily detached from the EV platform and once detached it can serve as an independent, stand-alone unit – making services and goods easily accessible to society, leaving the platform to be operated separately and continue on its next mission.
This will not only be applied toward Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and delivery segments but the modular design could also offer solutions for completely new applications. The companies will first work to develop hardware prototypes by the end of 2022.
Speaking about the move, Hino CEO Yoshio Shimo said: “The starting point of this collaboration is the FlatFormer concept we showcased at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. It received an excellent response, and I am delighted to see this FlatFormer concept come closer to reality. REE is a visionary company, and I am confident that this business alliance will become a driving force for Hino as we take on the challenge of generating new value in commercial mobility to harmonize with future society.”
Co-founder and CEO of REE, Daniel Barel, said: “The FlatFormer unveiling at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show proved to be a turning point in future electric mobility and set the stage for this exciting alliance with the visionary team at Hino. We see this alliance as a unique opportunity to fulfill our shared mission of improving quality of life for people around the world by developing and bringing to market revolutionary next generation EVs.”
Image courtesy of Hino and REE