Hino Motors Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, and REE Automotive Ltd., an innovator in e-mobility, have announced the signing of a strategic business alliance agreement to realise their shared vision of “providing new value to society through next-generation commercial mobility.”
With the backdrop of advancements in CASE – Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric vehicles – the automotive industry is entering a major transformation phase. Hino and REE envision beyond this transformation a future in which commercial vehicles that support the movement of people and goods will evolve into mobility that provides new value and opportunities for society. Hino and REE 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. The two companies will combine their advantages to realise this vision – Hino’s knowledge and technologies as a commercial vehicle manufacturer closely attuned to customer needs with REE’s innovative and highly competitive proprietary REEcorner™ EV technologies – and take on initiatives to create new value through next-generation commercial mobility solutions.
The next-generation commercial mobility solution to be jointly developed by Hino and REE will be comprised of a modular platform (Powered by REE) that will carry 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 Mobility Service 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 this modular design could also offer solutions for completely new applications. Leveraging the REEcorner™ modules, the flat chassis and the detachable Mobility Service Module will meet the diverse needs of consumers while contributing to more efficient utilisation of customers’ business resources. The specialised EV chassis to be jointly developed by Hino and REE will leverage proprietary REEcorner™ technology, which packs critical vehicle components into a single system positioned between the wheel and the chassis.
The solution will boast a low-floor, full-flat design that flexibly meets customer needs and also supports autonomous driving. The modular platform provides expandability, and the Mobility Service Module is designed with customer co-creation in mind.
The companies will first work to develop hardware prototypes by FY 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,” says Hino CEO Yoshio Shimo. “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 harmonise with future society.”
“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,” says Daniel Barel, Co-Founder and CEO of REE.
Going forward, both companies will further evaluate opportunities of working with like-minded partners with the goal of creating new value for society.