Hino’s brighter spark
A front-drive battery powered courier truck is on trial in Tokyo
A FULLY electric Hino 300 Series truck is working the streets of Tokyo.
The Japanese brand is conducting a trial with two local delivery companies in the capital, running an electric version of the light duty truck.
Confident the trials are progressing well, Hino was keen to draw attention to its green machine at last month’s Tokyo motor show, where it featured a 300 Series wide-cab electric truck on its stand.
Hino is yet to discuss when the electric 300 Series could make it into production but insiders suggest it is likely to be at least two years away in Japan, a country known for quickly adopting new technology.
It could take a further two or three years for the plug-in 300 to make it here.
Hino Australia already has a diesel-electric 300 Series hybrid truck. Sales have been modest, with purchases mostly limited to large companies keen on projecting a green image.
Unlike the hybrid truck, which uses a nickel-metal hydride battery pack, the fullelectric Hino uses a more modern lithium ion battery, which is more expensive but is able to release more energy more quickly. This means there is enough power to propel the truck without an engine, instead of merely assisting the engine as is the case with the current hybrid.
Interestingly, the 300 electric prototype is front-drive, unlike pretty much every other truck in service.
To keep weight down, the electric motor is mounted in the front and the batteries are within the chassis rails.
The lack of a regular engine and driveshaft means the electric 300’s floor is 420mm closer to the ground than the regular rig.
Hino isn’t disclosing the weight of its prototype truck, but battery packs are known to be heavy, which would limit the truck’s payload — it has a maximum weight rating of 3500kg.
Low ride, light payload: Hino 300 Electric