Australian electric truck manufacturer SEA Electric is set to partner with Toyota to deliver a new range of zero-emissions trucks, to be branded under Toyota’s truck subsidiary Hino.
The partnership was announced as part a major launch of Hino Trucks ‘Project Z’, which sets out the company’s pathway to delivering zero emissions commercial trucks into the market.
Hino is one of the world’s leading suppliers of trucks and heavy transport vehicles, and forms part of the vehicle giant Toyota’s group of companies. The company will expand its range of vehicles, which predominantly features diesel fuelled trucks, to include a number of electric and hydrogen fuelled options.
The project will see a new all-electric class 5 truck built on a Hino chassis and powered by an electric drive system supplied by SEA Electric, as well as a class 8 tractor trailer powered by Toyota’s hydrogen fuel-cell system.
Hino will also develop an all-electric tractor trailer built with an electric drive system supplied by Hexagon Purus and an all-electric class 8 truck built upon the battery and drive system developed by Xos Trucks.
Hino expects to be able to deliver demonstrator models for customers of what it describes as “sustainable and low cost” all-electric and fuel-cell trucks in 2022, with full-scale production to commence before 2024.
The deal is a major coup for SEA Electric, which has already established an assembly base in Victoria, and will supply Hino with the electric drive system that will power Hino’s M series of mid-range trucks.
The electric drive system developed by SEA Electric has been deployed through a number of partnerships with major vehicle manufacturers. The company’s drive system was chosen by Ford to power the American company’s all-electric F-59 van, and has also been used in the Isuzu F Series truck.
SEA Electric currently operates a factory based in Dandenong in Victoria, and has sought to grow its presence into overseas markets, and operates an additional facility in California. The company has already supplied a number of all-electric heavy vehicles for use in Australia, including freight trucks, garbage trucks and a model of cherry-picker.
The company is looking to expand its operations to a new factory based in Morwell, which would also the company to increase its assembly output to around 5,000 vehicles annually.
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.