Japanese vehicle manufacturers Toyota, Isuzu, and Hino announced today a new collaboration aimed at accelerating bus electrification, including plans to jointly develop and produce electric buses over the next few years.  The companies said the initiatives are aimed at promoting the achievement of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Isuzu and Hino plan to begin producing battery electric vehicle (BEV) buses in 2024. The BEV flat-floor route buses by Isuzu and Hino are planned to begin production at Isuzu-Hino joint venture J-Bus Ltd. The adoption of a BEV powertrain, which will provide zero CO2 emissions during vehicle use.

The three companies have also agreed to begin exploring the planning and development of the next-generation fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) route bus based on the BEV route bus. The FCEV bus will combine the platform of the BEV bus scheduled to launch in 2024 with Toyota’s fuel cell system found in the Toyota Mirai and the SORA fuel cell bus. The three companies stated that the collaboration aims to reduce costs and provide longer-life, higher-added-value electrified vehicles.

In a statement announcing the collaboration, the companies said:

“Through this initiative, Isuzu, Hino, and Toyota intend to contribute to the realization of a hydrogen-based society in Japan, by applying Japan’s strengths in fuel cell technology.”