Hy­brid Hino helps

Hino is into hy­brid pro­duc­tion, writes GRAHAMSMITH

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HINO is charg­ing into the fu­ture with a new diesel-elec­tric hy­brid truck that ap­peared at last week­end’s Syd­ney Truck Show. Of all the po­ten­tial so­lu­tions touted as an­swers to our fuel and pol­lu­tion woes, the hy­brid is the only one that’s avail­able now. And it’s been proven in tri­als.

Hino first brought its hy­brid tech­nol­ogy to Aus­tralia last year when it sold a su­per­seded truck as a toe-in-the-wa­ter ex­er­cise.

The com­pany is now in­tro­duc­ing a full­blown pro­duc­tion model as part of its light­duty 300 Se­ries range.

The Hy­brid 714 has been in pro­duc­tion in Ja­pan for more than a year and fea­tures the latest hy­brid tech­nol­ogy help­ing both fuel con­sump­tion and ex­haust emis­sions.

When used in an ap­pro­pri­ate ap­pli­ca­tion, typ­i­cally heavy traf­fic with lots of stop-start driv­ing, Hino says the Hy­brid 714 can cut fuel use 20 to 30 per cent com­pared with a sim­i­lar truck pow­ered by a con­ven­tional diesel en­gine, and that equates to a sub­stan­tial cut in green­house gas emis­sions.

The new 300 Se­ries Hy­brid has the same mild-par­al­lel, hy­brid-drive sys­tem the pre­vi­ous trucks used, but with im­prove­ments.

At its heart lies a new syn­chro­nous per­ma­nent-mag­net elec­tric mo­tor that is lighter and con­sid­er­ably more pow­er­ful. Whereas the old elec­tric mo­tor weighed 58kg and pro­duced 23kW and 243Nm, the new one weighs 40.8kg and gen­er­ates 36kW and 350Nm.

With 44 per cent more torque, which is on tap at 1000 revs, the ac­cel­er­a­tion of the 6500kg GVM truck is boosted sub­stan­tially.

The elec­tric mo­tor helps the truck’s diesel en­gine un­der ac­cel­er­a­tion, recharges the bat­ter­ies while cruis­ing and helps with brak­ing when the truck is slow­ing.

Re­gen­er­a­tive brak­ing saves the truck’s reg­u­lar brakes, re­duc­ing pad wear and in­creas­ing their ser­vice life by as much as 50 per cent.

The elec­tric mo­tor is also called upon to start the truck’s diesel en­gine when­ever needed, first up in the morn­ing or when stuck in heavy traf­fic as part of an idle-stop func­tion.

Shut­ting down the en­gine in­stead of let­ting it idle away, us­ing fuel and pol­lut­ing the at­mos­phere, is an­other way the Hy­brid saves.

The changes add up to a cleaner truck, and Hino has also fit­ted an aid to help op­er­a­tors get the most out of the sys­tem.

The ECO lamp il­lu­mi­nates when the elec­tric mo­tor is help­ing the diesel en­gine, and the brighter it is the more the ef­fi­ciency. The key for the driver is to make it burn at its bright­est.

The 714 Hy­brid also has a cleaner diesel en­gine. It’s still a 4.0-litre tur­bod­iesel unit, but its out­put has been re­duced from 110kW to 100kW, with 353Nm. It com­plies with the Ja­panese long-term ex­haust emis­sion lim­its, which are very close to the Euro 5 lim­its that are due as ADR 80/03 in 2011.

Com­pared to a reg­u­lar Hino 300 truck, the Hy­brid emits about 50 per cent less NOx and 70 per cent less par­tic­u­late mat­ter.

Though the Hino Hy­brid of­fers a so­lu­tion to the prob­lems of ris­ing fuel costs and green­house gas emis­sions, it does come at a cost. The Hy­brid car­ries a pre­mium of $12,000 over a sim­i­lar con­ven­tional diesel-pow­ered truck.

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