|EV Trucks for the trial. Click to enlarge.|
Yamato Transport Co., Ltd., Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), and Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) will begin trials using a small battery-electric truck (EV Truck) in Yamato delivery operations. Developed by Hino, the EV Truck is a one-tonne, ultra-low bed truck featuring a cargo space equipped with compartments for keeping delivery goods refrigerated or frozen.
The truck was created in line with specifications developed jointly by Yamato, TMC, and Hino to provide “Cool TA-Q-BIN”, one of Yamato’s delivery services for goods at low or freezing temperatures.
|Cargo area of the EV Truck. Click to enlarge.|
The trials are scheduled to be conducted for about one year. The three partners will verify the suitability and practicality of using the EV Trucks in delivery operations, and the results will be used to make improvements for the commercial launch of electric trucks.
In light of current battery performance, TMC and Hino believe that it is possible to offer practical commercial electric vehicles for lightweight and short-distance applications. At the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011, Hino displayed an EV truck concept vehicle with an ultra-low bed based on this idea and subsequently continued development, completing a practical-use prototype vehicle.
By placing a compact electric motor under the cab and adopting front-wheel drive, the batteries could be placed under the bed. The bed floor could then be positioned at a height of just 440 mm above the ground, creating a vehicle with a much lower bed than conventional trucks.
After determining that Yamato’s initiatives for raising operating efficiency were in agreement with TMC’s and Hino’s approaches to electric commercial vehicles, the three companies agreed to cooperate by conducting the trials.
The trucks are powered by a 350V, 28 kWh Li-ion battery pack coupled with a 70 kW, 280 N·m (207 lb-ft) electric motor. Maximum speed is 60 km/h (37 mph). Recharging the battery packs takes 8 hours for normal (200 V) charging, and 45 minutes for a CHAdeMO rapid charge (50 kW).