Hino Motors Co., Ltd. (Hino), a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, and REE Automotive have announced the signing of a strategic business alliance agreement to realize their shared vision of “providing new value to society through next-generation commercial mobility.”

With the backdrop of advancements in CASE – Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric vehicles, the automotive industry is entering a major transformation phase. Hino and REE envision beyond this transformation a future in which commercial vehicles that support the movement of people and goods will evolve into mobility that provides new value and opportunities for society. Hino and REE next-generation electric commercial mobility solutions are geared to improve quality of life on a global scale by lowering carbon emissions, minimizing strain on infrastructure, reducing congestion and allowing companies to better allocate resources.

The two companies will combine their advantages to realize this vision – Hino’s knowledge and technologies as a commercial vehicle manufacturer closely attuned to customer needs with REE’s innovative and highly competitive proprietary REEcornerTM EV technologies – and take on initiatives to create new value through next-generation commercial mobility solutions.

The next-generation commercial mobility solution to be jointly developed by Hino and REE will be comprised of a modular platform (powered by REE) that will carry a customized Mobility Service Module on top. The Mobility Service Module – which will carry passengers, goods and deliver services – would address a wide variety of current and future applications aligned with customer requirements, aimed to provide new value to society, and will be enhanced with data-driven services. In addition, the Mobility Service Module can be easily detached from the EV platform and once detached it can serve as an independent, stand-alone unit – making services and goods easily accessible to society, leaving the platform to be operated separately and continue on its next mission.

This will not only be applied toward Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and delivery segments but this modular design could also offer solutions for completely new applications. Leveraging the REEcornerTM modules, the flat chassis and the detachable Mobility Service Module will meet the diverse needs of consumers while contributing to more efficient utilization of customers’ business resources. The specialized EV chassis to be jointly developed by Hino and REE will leverage proprietary REEcorner TM technology, which packs critical vehicle components into a single system positioned between the wheel and the chassis.

The solution will boast a low-floor, full-flat design that flexibly meets customer needs and also supports autonomous driving. The modular platform provides expandability, and the Mobility Service Module is designed with customer co-creation in mind.

The companies will first work to develop hardware prototypes by FY 2022, while evaluating business models, engaging potential customers, and conducting demonstrations in parallel.