In Japan, Hino is said to be developing a new form of hybrid light duty truck. The company has been selling hybrid trucks in both Japan and here on the Australian market for several years. However, the current models available need to have the engine running at all times in order for the truck to move.
The new models being tested in Japan are said to have a clutch between the engine and the electric motor. This configuration will allow the truck to travel in electric-only mode. Reports suggest the testing shows that fuel efficiency in a diesel truck improves by 50% using the new system.
The company has also been developing an improved control system with more efficient power electronics and at the same time has reduced both the volume and the weight of the main components in the driveline. A report on the Green Car Website suggests the new systems should start to become available, probably on the Japanese domestic market, in 2011.