Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota, has signed a strategic business alliance agreement with REE Automotive.
The collaboration will combine Hino’s expertise and technologies in the commercial vehicle manufacturing sector with REE’s proprietary REEcorner EV technologies to develop a next-generation commercial mobility solution, consisting of a modular platform that will carry a specially designed Mobility Service Module on top.
The module will be used for carrying passengers and goods, and to deliver services, and the companies say it will address a wide variety of current and future applications aligned with customer requirements. The project is aiming to provide new value to society and is to be enhanced using data-driven services.
Alongside this, the Mobility Service Module can be decoupled from the EV platform to serve as a standalone unit, enabling the EV platform to move elsewhere. The project aims to not only provide a solution for Mobility as a Service (MaaS) or the delivery sector, but also to enable solutions for new applications. The duo hopes that the REEcorner modules, the flat chassis and the detachable module will meet the needs of a wide variety of consumers while also contributing to the efficient utilization of customers’ business resources.
Through the collaboration the EV chassis will be developed further using the REEcorner technology that positions vehicle components into a single system positioned between the wheel and the chassis. The end vehicle is set to have a low-floor and a full-flat, flexible design to meet a wide variety of consumer needs, as well as supporting autonomous driving.
The pair will start to develop hardware prototypes toward the end of 2022, while evaluating business models, engaging potential customers and conducting demonstrations in parallel.
“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,” commented Hino CEO Yoshio Shimo.