Cleaning Tomorrow’s Industry Warehouse:Report: Partner Partner Opinion
Toyota’s vision for the future of truck design
Toyota has applied an innovative design approach that goes beyond current standards when
introducing lithium-ion batteries to forklifts.
With Toyota Material Handling’s goal to lead in
this area, they applied an agile approach to
adapt to the new developments in battery
chemistry and software and how they are combined. It’s
key to be as flexible as possible and to be able to adapt
to the new possibilities that these developments bring.
Presenting the RED design concept
Toyota Material Handling has started its RED project to
set out a vision for the future of truck design. RED
stands for Radical Energy Design, which is at the heart
of the new design concept. By building lithium-ion
battery solutions with modules, which are assembled
in-house at Toyota, forklift design can be revolutionised.
The thinking behind the RED-project is to eliminate
the battery box and find alternative locations for
the individual energy modules. This provides
the freedom to completely redesign the truck.
Toyota’s design team has spent time making
the first truck redesign compact and perfecting the
details, setting new standards in the industry.
Simplicity is having the courage of
eliminating rather than adding, which has
been the motto in the design of the new BT
Levio LWI160 powered pallet truck. The
entire layout of the truck has been optimised
by removing the traditional battery tank to
facilitate an optimal fit of all components.
This first example of the modularised
concept introduces a new generation of low-lifter
warehouse trucks, marking the start of a new
Designing a truck is about putting the human being at
the centre: the human dimension.
The advantage of locating the modules where space
is available makes the truck smaller, lighter, and more
The reduction in size improves driveability as well as
flexibility. The centre of gravity can also be moved to
enhance performance and ensure the best stability and
Without compromising on performance, energy
efficiency can be enhanced. The modularised li-ion
battery solution offers easy and fast charging as well as
customised energy solutions.
The compact size offers easy manoeuvring and is
perfect for confined spaces and use on-board delivery
vehicles. By placing the tiller arm centrally, the driver has
unrestricted visibility, making the truck user-friendly,
safe and intuitive.
This vision goes beyond delivering one new truck
design, with the focus on standardisation of the entire
product range. Previously the industry has been
focusing on a wide range of specifications among
varying battery capacities, lift heights and working
environments. Now the time has come to apply the new
design and simplify the offer.
By doing this, Toyota creates flexibility, an
advantage that will only become more
important in the future. For example, in
unprecedented times like these, the
new design allows for trucks being
flexible enough to switch between sites,
which is essential when demand is changing
During the next few years, the plan is to develop
the design further and apply it to more models in this
new generation. This is just the start of a new era
allowing Toyota to build further on the same approach.
It enables future designs to be optimises and offers
customers an even better solution for their material
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