Hino’s way forward
A long-term commitment to hybrids is seen as the route to a viable future, writesGRAHAMSMITH
HINO has reaffirmed its commitment to a hybrid future, believing the alternative driveline trucks can play a major role in meeting the demands for a cleaner environment and greater fuel efficiency.
The company has demonstrated its commitment to hybrid trucks with the local release of the latest Hino 300 Series-based light-duty hybrid at the Sydney Truck Show, and backed it up with the announcement that tests on a medium-duty hybrid truck would be run locally in 2009.
Hino also showed the new 500 Series medium-duty hybrid truck it plans to evaluate next year at the recent Sydney show.
Hino Australia president Jan- suke Ando says the company is focusing on hybrid trucks.
‘‘With the launch of this Hino 300 Hybrid Hino Australia is confirming its long-term commitment to hybrids.
‘‘The hybrid model we have had until now was a foreigner we brought to Australia to allow us to comply with Australian Design Rules and test market acceptance.
‘‘The release of this new hybrid is a result of that investigation,’’ Ando says.
Unlike the previous hybrid truck, the new 300 Series hybrid Hino is now selling as a full production model that’s a completely integrated part of the regular 300 Series model range.
‘‘Hino is at the forefront of hybrid development, in its own right and as part of Toyota. The corporation’s commitment to research and development is huge. It spends $25 million per day, every day of the year, on research and development and much of that is spent on hybrids.’’
Ando says the company is firmly committed to a clean, green future and is developing vehicles to meet the crucial needs of the community going forward.
Such is the company’s commitment to developing hybrids that its new president meets with his Japanese development engineers every week to review progress.
Ando says Hino has the ambitious goal to reduce fuel consumption by 50 per cent and to increase the overall efficiency of its diesel trucks by 50 per cent.
In addition to its hybrid truck, Hino is also investing in hybrid buses and recently released a new diesel- electric hybrid touring coach, the Selega, which already meets Japanese fuel economy standards for 2015.
Hino Australia’s successful testing of the light-duty hybrid has given the company’s head office the confidence to approve the evaluation here of the new 500 Series medium-duty truck.
Just as it did when it introduced the light-duty hybrid truck Hino will put the new 500 Series medium-duty truck through a rigorous evaluation in the hands of a local operator.
‘‘There is no plan to sell it in Australia yet, but its presence here is a sign of our commitment to hybrids,’’ Hino overseas planning boss Shinji Ishi says while in Sydney for the launch of the new 300 Series Hybrid.
Given the local acceptance of the light-duty hybrid it seems only a matter of time before its bigger brother joins it on local roads.
Going forward: the Hino 300 Series hybrid is now selling as a full production model.