The kei automobile, as it is known in Japan, is made by Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. and Suzuki Motor Corporation. A smaller version of the vans, sedans, and hatchbacks you’re used to seeing, kei cars account for over 31 million of Japan’s almost 80 million automobiles and 60% of the nation’s fleet of commercial vehicles. In order to meet some of Japan’s significant carbon neutrality goals by 2023, a collaboration between Suzuki , Daihatsu, Toyota Motor Corporation (which partially owns Daihatsu), and the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT) aims to electrify the commercial kei van. The attainment of the carbon neutrality goals depends on the market launch of electrified mini-commercial electric vans, or kei vans. Kei vans are very beneficial on Japan’s tiny city roadways and narrower provincial routes. They are crucial in assisting last-mile logistics because of their diminutive size, which allows them to cover places that are only accessible to them. Since they account for 60% of the fleet of commercial vehicles as a whole, electrification will considerably advance environmental objectives. However, a significant obstacle to promoting the electrification of mini-commercial vehicles is the increased vehicle prices connected with electrification, the expenditures related to the infrastructure for charging, and the downtime that arises from charging, which is unusual of kei car vans.
CJPT will take part in the planning while Suzuki, Daihatsu, and Toyota work together to build a BEV system appropriate for mini-commercial vehicles by fusing Toyota’s electrification technology with Suzuki and Daihatsu’s expertise in making small cars.
As part of a national strategy for more environmentally friendly modes of transportation, partners in social implementation projects in Fukushima Prefecture and Tokyo will first employ the mini-commercial BEV van created by these four companies.
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