KW Electro Puzzle Is a Japanese Solar-Powered Kei Van That Will Come to the US in 2025

Kei cars and vans are arguably some of the cutest vehicles in the world. They are a common sight on Japanese highways, and they've also won the hearts of some Americans looking for an affordable and versatile vehicle. HW Electro, a Japan-based electric vehicle manufacturer, has unveiled plans to bring its newest mini commercial EV to the US.
HW Electro Puzzle kei van 16 photos
Photo: HW Electro
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Called the Puzzle, the kei van was initially unveiled at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show late last month, and HW Electro recently revealed it to the automotive media in New York, confirming its US availability starting in 2025.

"The Puzzle launch marks HW Electro's dedication to addressing environmental challenges and creating innovative eco-friendly solutions to the commercial vehicle market," Hsiao Weicheng, President of HW Electro, explained at the unveiling.

Japan's kei car segment is intensifying its electrification efforts, with more and more local companies like Toyota, Suzuki, and Daihatsu showcasing zero-emission variants of their commercial vans.

The new Puzzle electric cargo van, which is in the concept stage at the moment, is touted as a small but mighty workhorse that boasts an adorable appearance and can haul plenty of packages. It features a simple cabin that seats two people and a huge cargo space in the back. Inside the cabin, there is a digital dash and a touchscreen infotainment panel with physical environmental controls underneath.

What's more, the interior layout is customizable thanks to door panels that feature pinboard holes for attaching accessories and tools, such as armrests, cup holders, document bins, storage compartments, and more.

The Puzzle was designed with disaster relief in mind, coming standard with onboard AC outlets, USB ports, Wi-Fi internet connectivity, a crowbar, and emergency tools. But unlike other vehicles equipped with AC outlets and first-aid kits available in the US, this Japanese minivan allows access to these features from the outside to help others.

The vehicle also comes with roof-mounted solar panels, so its functionality is not compromised even if it encounters power outages.

Apart from disaster relief applications, the Puzzle is also a great utility vehicle for last-mile delivery services in urban areas and could also be used for running errands or going camping.

HWE Puzzle electric minivan
Photo: HW Electro
The prototype is 3,395 mm (133.6 inches) long, 1,475 mm (58 inches) wide, and 1,920 mm (75.6 inches) tall. Thanks to its boxy shape with 90- and 45-degree angles and abundance of flat surfaces, the minivan can swallow a lot of cargo, a maximum of 350 kg (770 pounds), to be more precise. Side and rear doors provide access to the cargo compartment, which means it would be suitable for package delivery.

Moreover, the passenger seat folds in case you need to carry longer cargo items. In a folded position, it can also double as a work surface for the driver.

Due to its compact design, the Puzzle would also be able to zip through crowded city streets and squeeze into tight parking spaces to unload the cargo it's carrying.

As for tech specs, HW Electro only revealed that it would be powered by a lithium iron phosphate battery that would ensure a 125-mile range per charge. More details will surely be made public closer to the 2025 release date. Until we find out more, watch the video below, which offers a preview of what the Puzzle prototype has to offer.

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About the author: Ancuta Iosub
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After spending a few years as a copy editor, Ancuta decided to put down the eraser and pick up the writer's pencil. Her favorites subjects are unusual car designs, travel trailers and everything related to the great outdoors.
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