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EV Kei Vans are Coming! Daihatsu, Toyota, and Suzuki Collaborate to Develop EV Kei Van

EV Kei Vans are Coming! Daihatsu, Toyota, and Suzuki Collaborate to Develop EV Kei Van

As automakers are all rushing to fill the market with the EVs, leading Japanese automakers Toyota, Daihatsu, and Suzuki have announced a collaborative effort to co-produce a new all-electric kei van. The partnership aims to leverage the strengths and expertise of each company to create an innovative and eco-friendly vehicle that meets the evolving needs of consumers.

Kei vans, popular in Japan, are known for their compact size, versatility, and efficiency. By combining Toyota’s EV technology with Suzuki and Daihatsu’s expertise in developing and building kei vehicles, they plan to create a commercial EV that will fit the needs of small businesses and individuals across Japan.

Daihatsu Hijet Cargo EV Van Prototype

From the prototype photos it seems that this new van will be heavily based on the current S700 series Daihatsu Hijet Cargo van, which currently is also sold as the Toyota Pixis Van. It was further confirmed that the vehicle will be produced by Daihatsu and released by the end of 2023. This marks further convergence in the kei van market, which has been happening steadily since the late 1990s. With this news it leaves three distinct models of commercial EV kei vans: the Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV, Honda N-Van EV, and this new one. It also marks the first time that Suzuki and Daihatsu are sharing a van platform with one another.

The range is expected to be around 200km (~125 mi), perfectly catering to the needs of urban commuters, small businesses, and delivery services.

Suzuki Every EV Van Prototype

EVs have been well established in the Japanese commercial market for over a decade at this point, with the Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV being famously used by Japan Post for local courier services in Major cities. Honda is also collaborating with Yamato shipping on a trial run of their N-Van EV prototype in select cities.

Honda N-Van EV Van Prototype

As the partnership progresses, we eagerly anticipate further details regarding the specifications, launch timeline, and pricing of the new EV kei van. With these renowned Japanese automakers working in unison, the future of compact electric vehicles is poised for significant advancement, promising a greener, more efficient, and exciting driving experience for all.

Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV used by Japan Post

We’ll also be eagerly updating you on how you can get your hands on these new EV units outside of Japan. We expect to be able to offer them from early 2024 to the NZ and Australia markets and expanding from there as soon as possible.

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