Mar. 01, 2013

Yamato Transport Co., Ltd.
Toyota Motor Corporation
Hino Motors, Ltd.

Yamato, Toyota, Hino Start Trials of Small Electric Truck

Companies Aim to Raise Efficiency and Cut CO2 Emissions in Delivery Business

Yamato Transport Co., Ltd. (Yamato), Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), and Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) will begin trials using a small electric truck ("EV Truck") in Yamato delivery operations.

Developed by Hino, the EV Truck is a one-ton, 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 unique delivery services for goods at low or freezing temperatures.  The EV Truck, including its refrigerator/freezer, is powered entirely by battery, meaning it generates no emissions during operation and is extremely quiet, making it ideal for delivery services in residential neighborhoods late at night and early in the morning.

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.

Yamato has been undertaking a series of environmental initiatives dubbed "Necology"1 focused around its main distribution business by thoroughly implementing environment-friendly measures in each of its three core business elements: packing, transport and delivery.  These measures are to reduce carbon dioxide emissions under three strategies: 1) reducing use (limiting the number of vehicles), 2) ecological use (introducing low-emission delivery vehicles), and 3) methods of use (encouraging eco-driving, reducing driving distances).  Yamato has also been implementing a variety of measures to achieve more efficient delivery operations.

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.

Trial Details

  • Period: Approximately one-year period starting mid-March in 2013
  • Territory: Areas of Itabashi Ward (Tokyo) and a part of Machida City (Tokyo)
  • Number of vehicles: Two (TMC and Hino to provide one vehicle each)

Trial EV Trucks (Refrigerator/Freezer Equipped)

Cargo Area

Comparison of Truck Bed Heights

Main Specifications (same for TMC and Hino Vehicles)

Length 4,695 mm
Width 1,830 mm
Height 2,600 mm
Bed height 440 mm
Cargo area Internal dimensions Length 2,980 mm × Width 1,685 mm × Height 2,100 mm
Storage compartments (three) Freezer compartment, refrigerated compartment, dry compartment
Vehicle weight 2,690 kg
Maximum capacity 1,000 kg
Occupants Two
Total vehicle weight 3,800 kg
Motor Maximum output 70 kW
Maximum torque 280 Nm
Batteries Type Lithium-ion
Capacity 28 kW/h
Voltage 350 V
Maximum speed 60 km/h (limited to city driving; speed restricted by a limiter)
Charging time Ordinary charging Eight hours (200 V)
Rapid charging 45 minutes (CHAdeMO method, 50 kW)

1A combination of the Japanese word neko (meaning cat and referring to the mother and child cats on the Yamato logo) and the English word ecology