General

Top Kei Car Manufacturers Join Forces to Make Commercial Kei Vans

Top Kei Car Manufacturers Join Forces to Make Commercial Kei Vans

Suzuki Motor Corporation and Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. are experts at making what is known in Japan as the ‘kei car’. The kei car is a smaller version of the vans, sedans and hatchbacks you know – and they comprise about 31 million of Japan’s nearly 80 million car population, as well as 60% of the country’s total commercial vehicle fleet.

Electrifying the commercial boulder is the goal of a collaboration between SuzukiDaihatsu, Toyota Motor Corporation (which partly owns Daihatsu) and the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT) to achieve some of Japan’s key carbon neutrality goals by 2023.

A market launch of electrified mini commercial electric vans is critical to achieving the carbon neutrality targets, as the kei vans are extremely useful on Japan’s narrow city roads and narrow provincial routes. They are able to cover areas only accessible to them due to their small size and are important in supporting last-mile logistics.

As these account for 60% of the total company vehicle fleet, electrification will contribute significantly to the environmental objectives. However, a major issue in promoting the electrification of mini commercial vehicles is the higher vehicle costs associated with electrification, the costs associated with charging infrastructure and the charging time resulting in downtime, which is not characteristic of kei-car vans. .

To solve these problems, CJPT will participate in the planning, while Suzuki, Daihatsu and Toyota will jointly develop a BEV system suitable for mini commercial vehicles by drawing on Suzuki and Daihatsu’s know-how in mini vehicle production. to be combined with Toyota’s electrification technology.

The mini-commercial BEV bus developed by these four companies will initially be used by partners in social implementation projects in Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo as part of a nationwide plan for more sustainable modes of transportation.


 

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