Hino Motors Aligns With REE Automotive to Integrate New Technologies in Commercial Vehicles

By McKenzie Carpenter Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota, announced today that it signed a business alliance agreement with EV startup company REE Automotive to introduce new technologies to commercial vehicles.

Road sign that says 'Electric Vehicle Only.'

About Each Company

Founded in 1942, Hino Motors is a Japanese automotive subsidiary of Toyota that primarily manufactures commercial vehicles like trucks, buses and coaches, and diesel engines.

The mission of the company is to “make the world a better place to live by helping people and goods get where they need to go―safely, economically and with environmental responsibility―while focusing on sustainable development.”

The business operates in more than 90 countries and regions around the world and has ¥1.8 trillion ($16.7 billion) in net sales as of March 31, 2020.

REE Automotive is an EV startup company that has created a range of EV and autonomous vehicles that provide a variety of services including last-mile delivery, robo taxis, light to medium duty logistics, and mobility as a service (MaaS).

The startup business has developed several technologies, including the REEcorner, which integrates all critical vehicle components into the arch of the wheel, and is completely powered by its own engine control unit (ECU). In addition, the REEcorner uses AI technology to detect potential failures to keep up with proper maintenance.

New Business Alliance

In a press release, Hino Motors announced it signed a business alliance agreement with the EV startup to support their shared vision of “providing new value to society through next-generation commercial mobility.”

The announcement stated that as Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric vehicles (CASE) technological advancements are coming to the forefront in the automotive industry, the EV startup and the Toyota subsidiary are looking for ways to take part in and advance what is potentially a transformative period for the automobile industry. As each company values improving life on a global scale through lowering carbon emissions, REE Automotive and Hino Motors will combine their expertise in EV technologies and commercial manufacturing to hopefully create next-generation commercial mobility solutions.

More specifically, the press release outlined the two businesses will develop a modular, detachable platform, a Mobility Service Module, to carry passengers, goods, and services to customers that already purchase vehicles from Hino Motors. The Module will also be able to operate independently as a stand-alone unit.

CEO of Hino Motors, Yoshio Shimo, stated that the inspiration for the flat design of the Mobility Service Module was inspired by the FlatFormer, which was displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2019.

He added in a statement, “...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.”

Hardware prototypes are intended to be developed by 2022.

The news of this new alliance comes less than a day after it was reported Toyota is buying the autonomous car unit of Lyft for $550 million. Additionally, REE Automotive went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal in February that valued the EV startup at $3.1 billion.

About the Author

Headshot for author McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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