Toyota and Suzuki co-developed new mini electric vans and BEV platform

On Wednesday, Toyota, Suzuki, and Daihatsu Motor revealed a new jointly developed battery electric vehicle (BEV) system. The co-developed platform will power a new generation of mini-commercial electric vans.

Although Toyota has been a clear laggard in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, the Japanese automaker has recently revealed a series of new EV investments and products.

Behind the leadership of new CEO Koji Sato, who took over in April, Toyota has “accelerated BEV development with a new approach.”

Sato’s new vision includes ten fully electric models by 2026, representing 1.5 million in EV sales annually. Toyota looks to make up for lost time after a disappointing rollout with its first EV, the bZ4X.

Toyota launched its second EV in China last month, the BYD co-developed bZ3 electric sedan. The automaker has also teased several upcoming models, including the bZ Sport Crossover and bZ FlexSpace concepts and an aerodynamic sports car.

A significant portion of its planned revamp includes a dedicated EV platform, set to launch in 2026, which Toyota claims will double range in future models by using highly efficient batteries.

With businesses and fleets going electric, Toyota, Suzuki, and fellow Japanese automaker Daihatsu Motor teamed up to develop a new EV platform and series of mini electric vans to tackle the growing emissions in delivery.

Toyota and Suzuki team up for commercial electric vans

The automakers will present a prototype of the mini electric vans based on the co-developed system later this week at an exhibition event held by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The electric vans were made possible by combining Suzuki and Daihatsu’s expertise in small-sized cars with “Toyota’s electrification technology.”

Daihatsu will manufacture the vehicles, while Suzuki and Toyota will also release their own versions by the end of the year. According to Toyota, the cruising range per charge is expected to be around 200 km (124 mi).

Development is currently underway on the new commercial EV models with the “aim of creating a vehicle that can fully meet the needs of customers in the delivery industry.” Check back for more information on the jointly developed commercial solution.

Electrek’s Take

The recent boom in online shopping stemming from the pandemic has caused a significant rise in deliveries, including everything from food to groceries and clothes.

Automakers are taking advantage of the trend by introducing highly efficient electric solutions that can save business time and money.

Ford Pro is doing it with the E-Transit, GM with BrightDrop and its new Envolve business, Rivian with its electric delivery vans (EDVs) being supplied to Amazon – the list goes on and on.

Toyota is looking to grab its piece of the pie. And although Toyota’s electric vans are aimed at a different market, more electric commercial delivery solutions on the road mean less pollution in our cities.