Hino Motors, China-based BYD sign deal for joint electric vehicle development

24, Apr. 2020

Hino Motors is developing fuel cell large trucks with Toyota Motor (Photo courtesy of Hino Motors)
Hino Motors is developing fuel cell large trucks with Toyota Motor (Photo courtesy of Hino Motors)

TOKYO, NNA – Major Japanese truck and bus maker Hino Motors Ltd. has joined Chinese electric vehicle and battery maker BYD Co. to develop EVs for commercial use, the two companies said Thursday.

Hino, Toyota Motor Corp.’s truck manufacturing unit, and BYD signed a strategic business alliance contract that lets them start developing commercial battery electric vehicles, they said in a joint news release.

The two carmakers will make the most of their advanced technologies, including Hino’s electrification know-how, to develop and manufacture the vehicles, a Hino executive said.

“By bringing together BYD's achievement in BEV (battery electric vehicle) development and Hino's electrification technology and reliability built over years of experience in developing hybrid vehicles, we will develop the best-fit commercial BEV products for consumer in working towards swift market introduction," Director and Senior Managing Officer Taketo Nakane said in the press release.

A senior BYD official said the two companies will try to leverage the alliance to strive to sell vehicles globally.

“Cooperation between the Chinese and Japanese companies will benefit the development of commercial vehicle electrification by introducing leading technology and rich experience, which will accelerate the global adoption of pure electric commercial vehicles,” said Wang Jie, vice president and CEO of the Chinese carmaker’s commercial vehicle division.

Tokyo-based Hino and its Shenzhen-based partner have not yet decided which types of battery electric vehicles they will develop together and when the vehicles will be released, a Hino spokeswoman said.

As part of the alliance, Hino and BYD will hold consultations over specific methods of battery electric vehicle cooperation, including the possibility of establishing a joint venture, according to her.

BYD, which was launched in 1995 as a battery research and development and manufacturing company, specializes now in batteries, electric motors, semiconductor devices and electronic controls, according to the joint press release. The company makes cars, trucks and buses today and has sold over 50,000 units of pure electric bus and coach in about 30 countries and regions.

Hino Motors has made mainly large commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses since its inauguration in 1942. The company released the world’s first commercially available hybrid vehicle in 1991 as a bus on a regular urban route, the news release says.