The four major manufacturers of commercial trucks hosted a joint press conference today announcing that the two commercial automotive companies, Mitsubishi Fuso and Hino Motors, will establish a joint venture that will be invested by Daimler and Toyota, with subsequent focus placed on developing commercial trucks adopted with hydrogen fuel cells.
Hydrogen fuel cells, despite hindered development on small vehicles, are relatively advantageous on large transportations, and the two major global leaders of hydrogen fuel cells, Toyota and Daimler, have decided to join hands on accelerating developing of FCEV trucks through Mercedes Benz’s concept of CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, and Electric).
Aside from the Japan-Germany alliance, the more shocking reveal from the joint conference was the listed joint venture between Hino Motors and Mitsubishi Fuso Bus and Truck at a ratio of 50:50 that will focus on co-developing sustainable and zero-carbon eco-friendly trucks, which will be adopted with the software capability of Daimler and Toyota in order to improve competitiveness in commercial vehicles.
“Trucks and buses are now marching towards a carbonless future as they advance social development”, commented Martin Daum, CEO of Daimler, who said that the new joint venture will become the major force of commercial vehicles in Southeast Asia, and serve as a key partner to Daimler Truck.
Details on the joint venture will continue to progress throughout the next 18 months. Official agreement is expected to be signed in Q1 2024, before the transaction is completed at the end of 2024.
It is worth noting that Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota, is still under investigation for its faked emissions data incident last year, and has completely halted all production lines in Japan. This joint venture could be interpreted as some sort of resolution for Toyota.
A further observation is required pertaining to the changes of exclusive rights for the two major leaders in Taiwan’s commercial vehicle market, Daimler Trucks Asia Taiwan who is the distributor of Mercedes-Benz and Fuso, as well as Hotai Motor who is the distributor of Toyota and Hino, after the merging of Hino and Fuso.
This may just seem like a merger between two commercial vehicle manufacturers on the surface, but what it symbolizes is actually the integration of hydrogen fuel cell technology between Mercedes-Benz and Toyota, who are currently global leaders in hydrogen fuel cell trucks, and each has its own corresponding prototypes. A mutual sharing of resources and co-development on hydrogen refueling infrastructures between two companies would be a plus to those who are thinking of purchasing hydrogen fuel cell trucks.
(Cover photo source: Daimler)