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Hino has released the world's first production hybrid truck in Australia as a prelude to a greater commitment to hybrid technology.

The Hino Hybrid is a 6500kg-capacity vehicle best suited to urban application.

It is claimed to provide up to 20 per cent improved fuel economy than a similar conventional truck, and to achieve greater emission control.

The Hino Hybrid combines a 4.0-litre 110kW diesel engine with a
23kW electric motor which run in parallel.

Hino has worked for two years with Australian automotive regulators to achieve compliance for the vehicle.

It has secured an allocation of 30 vehicles from Hino in Japan.

Purchasers are expected to come from government organisations and productivity-conscious private fleets keen to trial the technology.

Early adopters in the owner-operator sector are also likely to take part of the first batch of hybrid vehicles.

"Hybrid is undoubtedly the way of the future," Hino Australia chief operating officer Steve Lotter said.

"It has the potential to provide major savings in fuel and reductions in emissions, without any operational downside.

"In fact, it is likely to be viewed by many operators as a step forward in clean vehicle delivery, and that will mean a lot in terms of a company's status with its customers."

Hino's first hybrid comes to market ten years after Toyota introduced the first mass-production hybrid motor vehicle.

"Developing a hybrid system for a truck is a complex, and to a degree, more difficult task," Mr Lotter said.

"The different dynamics, especially in load capacity and heat generation, place a totally different demand on the drivetrain."

Shared information within the Toyota Group has enabled Hino to accelerate development.

"Hino has invested heavily in developing a system which can meet the operational parameters of the commercial vehicle industry," Mr Lotter said.

"Hino Hybrid has been in successful use in Japan for three years.

"Australia is the first market outside Japan to receive the hybrid."


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Hino designed its latest-generation hybrid truck to achieve significant emission reductions.

It reduces emissions of particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), as well as carbon dioxide.

The diesel engine in Hino Hybrid easily meets Euro IV emission requirements.

It was designed to achieve an 85 per cent reduction in PM emission and a halving of NOx emissions compared to the 2003 emission control standards.

It has achieved a 66 per cent decrease in NOx emissions and 80 per cent decrease in PM compared with the requirements of Australian Design Rule 80/00.

Hino Hybrid also delivers significant fuel savings - and the direct relationship of fuel use to CO2 production means less greenhouse gas production.

Hino testing saw the vehicle reduce CO2 emissions by 25 per cent.

The vehicle has achieved fuel savings of between 20 and 30 per cent in various tests - including a one-year comparison by a local freight company using Hino Hybrid on Sydney delivery runs and in-house Hino testing.

Fuel-saving features include regenerative braking, which also saves on wear for the four-wheel disc brakes.

Hino Hybrid's acceleration performance has been significantly improved compared to a conventional truck with the same (three tonne) payload capacity.

The truck is eight seconds quicker 0-70km/h than a comparable diesel truck.


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Hino Hybrid has a range of advanced features, including an ultra-thin electric motor/generator and an automatic diesel engine idle-stop feature when the vehicle is stationary.

It is the world's first small truck with an idle-stop function.

Hino Hybrid is a mild parallel hybrid that blends the power of a four-litre turbocharged common-rail diesel engine and a purpose-designed electric motor, before transmitting that power through a six-speed manual transmission.

The electric motor fulfils four roles during various hybrid operations - as a generator driven by the diesel engine, a traction motor to help drive the wheels, a generator driven by the rear wheels when the vehicle is in regenerative braking mode, and a starter motor for the diesel engine.

The electric motor's role as a starter motor means Hino Hybrid can shut down its diesel engine when the vehicle is stopped and smoothly restart the engine when it is time to move off.

The idle-stop function operates when the vehicle is stationary, the transmission is in neutral and the driver's foot is on the brake pedal.

The diesel engine restarts as soon as the clutch pedal is depressed.

The idle-stop function can be disabled via a button on the dashboard if the driver desires.

For example, keeping the diesel engine running when the vehicle is stationary in hot weather provides on-going air conditioner operation.

The three-phase electric motor is just 40mm thick and bolts between the diesel engine and the bell housing.

It delivers 23kW of power at 1000rpm and 243Nm of torque at 500rpm.

The electric motor has a rotor diameter of 388.5mm and mass of 72 kilograms. The motor replaces a conventional flywheel.

The vehicle's sealed, maintenance-free metal-nickel hydride battery has an operating voltage of 274V and its own cooling system.

The battery consists of 38 7.2V modules each with a 6.5 Amp hour capacity.

The battery package is sealed for weather protection as well as safety, and weighs 55kg.

Battery design life is 10 years.

The hybrid vehicle system's prevalent-type inverter has a built-in hybrid engine control unit (ECU) and shares the power control unit (PCU) package with the HV battery.

The 50kVA capacity solid-state inverter has its own cooling radiator.

Unique features of the Hino Hybrid also include a particulate filter for the diesel engine's exhaust.

The vehicle's catalytic converter has a self-cleaning function.

However, should the system require manual override, a warning lamp on the dashboard lights up to advise the driver when the converter requires self-cleaning.

If the warning lamp shows, the driver pushes the "Regeneration" button on the dashboard.

The process takes approximately 15 minutes and typically would be required once a month.


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Hino Hybrid includes many of the key features fitted to the all-new Hino 300 Series light-duty truck range that help make driving safer and easier.

Hino Hybrid's four-wheel disc brakes are ABS anti-skid-equipped, and all disc brakes are auto-adjust.

In addition, dual SRS airbags with pretension seatbelts for both driver and passenger enhance occupant safety in the event of an accident.

Hino's Easy Start Uphill Start Assist technology electronically maintains braking force, even after the driver takes their foot off the brake pedal; negating the need for hand brake starts.

The Easy Start feature allows the driver to seamlessly move off from a stationary position.

Hino Hybrid is also equipped with two West Coast type rear-view mirrors with a spotter mirror on the left, AM/FM radio and CD player, power windows, keyless central locking, centre and overhead consoles, and air conditioning.


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The Hino Hybrid's hard-working nickel hydride battery is cooled by an electric fan, helping to extend its working life to ten years.

A single module of the battery is made up of six cells of 1.2 volts, connected serially.

A total of 228 cells produce a rated voltage of 273.6 volts.

When the battery temperature rises, the Hybrid Vehicle Control Computer (HVCC) regulates the cooling fan air volume based on an instruction from the battery's computer.

After the starter switch is turned on and the battery temperature reaches 20 degrees, the single cooling fan begins to operate.

When the battery temperature exceeds 30 degrees, the maximum air volume duty of 90 per cent is reached.

When the engine is at rest, such as at an idle stop, the cooling fan operates at a duty of 50 per cent to suppress noise generated by the fan.

The high voltage battery computer maintains its state of charge to an appropriate value by calculating the summation of charging and discharge currents, and transmits the calculation to the HVCC.

Like the battery, the inverter is part of Hino Hybrid's power control unit.

The inverter is a power conversion device which converts the AC power of the motor/generator and the DC power of the high-voltage battery.

It controls the motor/generator so that it will work either as a motor or as a generator.

The inverter, with built-in HVCC, is attached to the left side of the vehicle and sits beneath the battery.

Unlike the air-cooled battery, it is water-cooled and has a dedicated radiator.

When the starter switch is turned on, the water-cooling system's electric water pump is activated.


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Initial tests on Hino Hybrid's diesel-electric hybrid regenerative braking system have revealed significant reductions in brake pad wear.

The regenerative system delivers a number of significant benefits over a conventional braking system.

It recovers energy, improves fuel economy and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

The regenerative braking system can provide the majority of the total braking force needed in low-speed, stop-start traffic where little deceleration is required.

The electric motor acts as a generator, converting kinetic energy from the vehicle's motion into a reusable form - electricity - which is stored in the battery.

This significantly improves the fuel economy and emissions of a hybrid vehicle and further enhances the attractiveness of hybrid vehicles for city driving.

In conjunction with transport company TNT, Hino Australia conducted a series of tests with Hino Hybrid to measure fuel consumption and brake component wear.

Based on actual distance travelled of 49,531km, the front brake pads fitted to the Hino Hybrid wore just 1.3mm.

On that wear rate, the projected working life of the front pads would increase by 50 per cent compared with the same pads fitted to an equivalent conventionally powered truck.

In addition, there was no measurable wear of the Hino Hybrid's disc brake rotors, providing more potential savings in down time and service costs.


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The new Hino Hybrid will have a recommended retail price of $60,500.

The pricing of the new Hino Hybrid, which is based on the new Hino 300 716 Medium, is comparable with the pricing structure of the quintessential hybrid passenger car - the Toyota Prius.

"The price difference between the 716 Medium and the Hybrid is very much comparable with the difference between a Prius and an equivalent passenger car," said Enzo Magistro, divisional manager, sales.

"You get a truck that can be operated as normal, but you are buying into new technology in the truck market - technology that will help to reduce fuel consumption and emissions."


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Hino Hybrid has already undergone a highly extensive market evaluation as well as fuel trials with selected operators.

While the Hybrid was undergoing Australian Design Rule testing and approval, Hino took the opportunity to introduce the vehicle to some customers.

The trials tested all aspects of the truck and were used to garner feedback on the Hybrid from customers ahead of the launch.

"The customers that we have offered the trial to have been very impressed with the savings it has made," said Alex Stewart, Hino national marketing manager.

"They have all said that it compares favourably in terms of operating costs."

Customers for the trial were selected according to application and enthusiasm for the hybrid product.

"As a truck that has the maximum benefit for city and suburban applications, it was important that we selected the right application for the tests - one test vehicle completed almost 50,000 kilometres," Mr Stewart said.

"We were expecting it to perform well on fuel consumption, but we were highly encouraged by the feedback on the vehicle's performance and driving capability.

"A lot of the feedback was focused on just how well it performs - it steers and feels just like a normal truck and performs just as well or better than a regular diesel engine.

"Our fuel trials have returned figures indicating that fuel economy is improved by up to 20 per cent over the diesel engine that the hybrid drivetrain is based upon - which can be extrapolated to similar emissions savings."

Mr Stewart believes that the operators who have been exposed to the Hino Hybrid have developed an interest in the product that could continue into the future.

"The customers that we have given a taste of Hybrid to are aware that this is merely the first step into the Hybrid world - the trials have shown them that the potential for Hybrid is real and it is significant," he said.

"Despite the fact that this is new technology for everyone involved, the trials have operated seamlessly."


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Hino's ongoing commitment to hybrid technology is underlined by a number of goals set out in the Hino 2010 Environment Initiative Plan.

In addition to achieving a recycling rate of 95 per cent by 2015, Hino is working towards cutting emissions from its vehicles by 35 per cent compared to emissions per sales volume in 1990.

Further improvement and expanded sales of hybrid systems is a key priority in achieving this target.

Hino's ongoing journey with hybrid technology has been marked by any number of challenges and subsequent solutions.

One area of hybrid technology that was brought into question was its ability to adequately deal with inclines.

Hino Hybrid vehicles produced decreases in both fuel consumption and emissions in flat city driving, but were untested in the hinterlands of major cities.

In 1993, Hino received an inquiry from Matsumoto Electric Railway, with whom it had a business relationship, to use one of Hino's environmentally friendly buses in the hilly Kamikochi area.

The Kamikochi challenge inspired the Hino hybrid development team to create a solution that proved to be a major turning point in hybrid truck technology.

The problem arising from climbing prolonged slopes is one of tuning; how to store and release electricity, and how to reduce the load on the battery.

In the case of hybrid cars, it is vital to tune the engine and battery to match different driving conditions.

With the assistance of Matsumoto, Hino was able to tune the battery and engine to negotiate hills of up to a 20 per cent incline, in addition to applying knowledge and techniques developed in flat terrain driving.

"Hino had a great deal of technical capability, but Matsumoto Electric Railway also had engineers with a firm understanding of electrical systems because they ran a railway division in addition to their bus division," said Hino's project leader at the time.

"That was very important. Another vital factor was that they gave their drivers very thorough education on the characteristics of hybrid vehicles."

Hybrid vehicle development divisional manager, Yoshito Hikikata, said that during the development stage, Hino asked a driver to evaluate its bus.

"Normally when I would go up a hill, I would feel bad about cars behind me because of the black smoke that would come out of the tail pipe," said the driver.

"But with the hybrid bus, there's no black smoke. I can just drive without worrying about it."

Mr Hikikata said that kind of response provided great encouragement to the Hino Hybrid team to help develop more hybrid variants.

"After repeating this kind of process many times, in 2004 we were able to sell three kinds of products," he said.

"That's why it makes me indescribably happy to see more and more hybrid buses and trucks developed on the roads."


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Hino Australia has committed to the development of hybrid technology for the truck market with its introduction of the country's first production hybrid truck.

The first generation will pave the way and provide a base for Hino Motors Limited to develop an improved second generation.

"Hino is taking the initiative of bringing the latest technology to the market - just as Toyota and Lexus have in the passenger vehicle market before it," said Alex Stewart, Hino's national marketing manager.

"We recognise the openings in the market for different products such as the Hino Hybrid, however we are also aware that hybrid is not likely to totally replace diesel engine trucks anytime soon."

The company's goals for the first generation are modest due to the limited number of units available to Hino Australia for sale.

"We are only getting 30 first-generation Hino Hybrids, so we can't really have any sales targets," said Mr Stewart.

"Hino's goal is to make a first step in introducing hybrid to the truck market and helping the market understand what hybrid is and what it can do.

"We want to educate transport operators to see hybrid as a potential solution to fuel consumption and emissions challenges."

According to Mr Stewart, Hino is already working on improving the vehicle, as Toyota has done with the two generations of its Prius hybrid passenger vehicle.

"Hino Australia is working with Hino Motors Limited to develop the second generation - it still won't be a mass-produced vehicle, but it will be another significant step forward," he said.

"The company is constantly pushing to develop new technology, and the fact that Hino can now introduce Australia's first hybrid commercial vehicle is proof of that.

"We strive to ensure we remain at the leading edge, and Hybrid is the leading edge in the market for operators looking at how to meet their fuel cost and environmental challenges.

"It is very important for Hino to stay right at the forefront in introducing technology to the commercial vehicle market."


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In today's world of higher fuel prices and an ever-increasing emphasis on global warming, the Hino Hybrid takes a giant leap forward for transport operators concerned about these two challenges.

These pressures place higher demands on the requirements for operators to meet lower fuel costs and increased emission standards.

More than ever, businesses are seeking better fuel consumption and lower emission readings.

It is in this climate that Hino launches the first Hino Hybrid, engineered to begin the attack on these two important areas.

"The demand for the Hino Hybrid has primarily been driven from the government sector," said Alex Stewart, national marketing manager for Hino.

"Public departments are usually the first to set tougher fuel consumption and emission standards.

"However, the need to save fuel costs is one that is prevalent across any transport operator - and the private sector is increasingly aware of its responsibility to be a good corporate citizen."

In the passenger vehicle market, Toyota's Prius has been overwhelmingly successful in addressing fuel consumption and strict emissions.

The other great success of the Prius has been in educating the consumer about hybrid.

"Not a lot of people understood hybrid technology when the first Toyota Prius was launched," said Mr Stewart.

"However, Toyota has done a great job in educating the market - now the Prius and hybrid technology are synonyms for impressive fuel consumption and minimal emissions.

"It is up to the Hino Hybrid to be the pioneer of hybrid for the commercial vehicle market."

Unlike the Prius though, which is only sold as a hybrid, the Hino Hybrid is based on a standard Hino light-duty truck.

"It is a benefit for our customers that the truck is based on a standard, pre-existing truck - but with the option of a hybrid drivetrain," said Mr Stewart.

"It means that it looks like a normal truck, it feels like a normal truck and it does the job of a normal truck - it just comes with the option of hybrid."


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Hino has been researching ways to provide transport and environmental solutions using electric motors since it first conducted monitored testing with eight electric buses in 1973.

In 1976 it began studying a series of hybrid vehicles and in 1981 Hino commenced development of a Hybrid Inverter Controlled Motor and Retarder (HIMR) system.

The objective of the HIMR project was to integrate diesel with electric power.

Hino first displayed a hybrid concept vehicle at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show.

After testing and developing its parallel hybrid system for almost a decade, Hino launched the world's first diesel-electric hybrid bus to the market in 1991.

It also provided Hino test buses to Tokyo, and seven other large cities in Japan, to identify areas for improvement by evaluating customer feedback.

Two years after launching its hybrid city bus to the market Hino released a medium-duty hybrid truck that incorporated a number of improvements based on customer comments.

Hino invited three major transportation companies to conduct monitored testing to measure customer feedback directly from the drivers operating the trucks every day.

The Hino 'Blue Ribbon HIMR' hybrid bus launched in September 2001, followed by the 'S'elega R HIMR', adopted the common-rail fuel-injection system and oxidation catalyst muffler.

Overall efficiency was significantly improved by adopting nickel hydride batteries.

In May 2002, Hino developed a more efficient hybrid system that integrated the advantages of conventional series and parallel hybrid systems by employing a one-way clutch and one motor.

A new electric storage device and an advanced generator produced a significant improvement in fuel efficiency and emissions.

Hino launched the Dutro Hybrid light-duty truck in November 2003.

Hino has sold approximately 3000 hybrid trucks and buses in the Japanese market to date.

Hino's Hybrid Vehicle Development Division is continuing its quest to reduce customer costs and help conserve valuable global resources.

Additionally, Hino is putting considerable effort into developing the ultimate clean energy - the fuel cell - although a lack of infrastructure currently makes the commercial sales of fuel cell-powered vehicles unfeasible.

Hino believes however, that its enduring investment in hybrid technology is benefiting its drive to fully develop fuel cell power.

"We can leverage some of the technologies we gain through development of hybrid technologies in fuel cells," said Mr Yoshito Hijikata, Hybrid Vehicle Development Division manager.

"By doing the best that we can now, we can make gradual progress, in the end reaching the ultimate goal of clean energy."

Hino has joined Toyota Motor Corporation to develop a large-size bus equipped with a high-pressure hydrogen fuel cell hybrid system.


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The first decade of volume-production hybrid vehicles has seen manufacturers offer a range of driveline solutions.

Hybrid systems are automotive power plants that use both petrol engines and electric motors for motive power.

Conventionally, there are two kinds of hybrid systems:

1) series hybrids, which use a petrol engine to generate electricity for the electric motor (and sometimes batteries) to propel the vehicle;

2) parallel hybrids, which use both petrol engines and electric motors for motive power, and switch back and forth between them as driving conditions demand.

The world's top-selling hybrid vehicle manufacturer, Toyota, combined the best aspects of the series and parallel systems in its first and second-generation Prius vehicles.

Prius is an example of a 'full hybrid' vehicle - one that integrates an internal combustion engine, electric motor(s) and a battery, so the electric motor can operate on its own when certain conditions are met.

Second-generation Prius, for example, can operate on the electric motor alone at low speeds.

The other hallmark of a full hybrid is that it can generate and consume electric power at the same time.

Typically, a full hybrid vehicle can start using its electric motor and then use its internal combustion engine as speeds increase.

Under hard acceleration, the internal combustion engine and electric motor(s) work together.

Examples of full hybrid vehicles include Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Toyota Highlander in the US (the sister vehicle of Kluger), Lexus RX400h and Lexus GS450h.

Honda's 2006 Civic Hybrid moved into the full hybrid category.

It is different from the other full hybrid systems in that it cannot take off from rest under electric power alone, but at certain light-load cruising conditions it will operate on electric motor power only.

In a 'mild hybrid' the electric motor performs an assist function only.

The internal combustion engine provides the main propulsion, and the electric motor provides assistance whenever extra power is needed.

The electric motor cannot operate independently of the internal combustion engine.

Moreover, the electric motor can generate electricity for the battery or consume electricity from the battery, but not both at the same time.

Examples of mild hybrids include Honda Insight and the first-generation Honda Civic Hybrid.

Some mild hybrids have been likened to "a conventional vehicle with an oversized starter motor", linked to the internal combustion (IC) engine by a belt.

This allows the IC engine to be turned off whenever the vehicle is coasting, braking, or stopped, before restarting quickly and cleanly.

The electric motor (often 48 Volt) is used to spin the IC engine up to operating speed before injecting any fuel.

A prime example is the 2005 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, which achieves increased fuel efficiency by shutting down its IC engine when not required and restarting it on demand.

General Motors has since offered what it calls the Belt Alternator Starter (BSA) system in the 2006 Saturn VUE Green Line.

It has the "start-stop" system of the Silverado, but the electric motor can also provide modest assist under acceleration.

Hino mild parallel hybrid system

Hino Hybrid is a mild parallel hybrid that blends the power of a four-litre, turbocharged, common-rail diesel engine and a purpose-designed electric motor.

The electric motor fulfils four roles during various hybrid operations: as a generator driven by the diesel engine, a traction motor to help drive the wheels, a generator driven by the rear wheels when the vehicle is in regenerative braking mode, and a starter motor for the diesel engine.

In parallel mode, the electric motor/generator provides propulsion, alongside that of the engine, by using electric energy stored in the battery.

When running at constant speed, the system goes into engine running mode, which occurs at approximately 2600rpm - in other words, the electric motor stops providing propulsion at higher constant speeds.

The hybrid system's computer controls the generator and motor to ensure the battery maintains a constant charge so there is no need for recharging from an outside source.


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Parallel hybrids use fuel-burning engines and electric motors for motive power, and switch back and forth between them as driving conditions demand.

Hino Hybrid is classified as a mild parallel hybrid.

In a mild hybrid, the electric motor performs an assist function only.

For this reason, the electric motor in the Hino Hybrid needs to produce far less power than the electric motor fitted to Prius, which generates 57kW compared with the Hino's 23kW.

The internal combustion engine provides the main propulsion, and the electric motor provides assistance whenever extra power is needed, working in parallel.

The electric motor cannot operate independently of the internal combustion engine.

In addition, the electric motor can generate electricity for the battery or consume electricity from the battery, but not both at the same time.

The battery pack fitted to Hino Hybrid is derived from the same unit fitted to the first series of Prius launched in Australia.

The hybrid vehicle system's inverter has a built-in hybrid engine control unit and shares the power control unit package with the high voltage battery and cooling fan.

The inverter converts AC power from the electric motor and DC power from the battery, and has its own cooling radiator.

The power control unit weighs only 62kg, which includes the battery, inverter and cooling systems for both components.


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Hino's Hybrid System meets the three classic conditions for widespread use in the commercial vehicle industry.

It is easy to use, affordable and there is an infrastructure in place to supply fuel and support the hybrid concept.

Ease of use and available infrastructure have dictated development of the automotive industry since its inception.

In 1900 steam, electric and internal combustion vehicles co-existed.

The total car parc in the US in 1900 was approximately 200,000 vehicles, with 50 per cent steam powered, 30 per cent electric and only 20 per cent internal combustion.

However, limited supply of soft water for boilers produced problems for steam vehicles.

Electric vehicles were easy to operate, but suffered from short operating ranges with long charging times.

Two major opportunities propelled the internal combustion engine past its rivals.

The propellant for internal combustion engines - petrol and diesel - was a by-product of a more widely used fuel in that era: kerosene, which was used in lanterns.

Petrol was initially available in urban drugstores, and that provided the beginnings of a universal fuel supply system.

The second opportunity occurred in 1911 with the invention of the electric starter.

Until then the need to hand-crank a difficult-to-start internal combustion engine had placed a huge limitation on the development of the concept.

Electric start virtually wiped out competition from both steam and electric manufacturers.

Modern hybrid development meets the same three principle conditions faced by the industry over a century ago.

Its fuel does not require new infrastructure.

It is easy to use and offers reduced fuel consumption and reduced emissions, and it is reasonably priced.

The Toyota Group of Companies is well recognised as the primary developer of modern hybrid vehicles.

Toyota's Prius, now 10 years in production, has led development of hybrid technology as an enabler of fuel-efficient, emission-friendly motoring.

Prius legitimately claims use of up to 50 per cent less petrol than an equivalent sized conventional car, and a reduction of 50 per cent in carbon dioxide emissions on a typical city drive cycle.

The Lexus line of hybrid vehicles - in the SUV RX400h, performance GS450h and soon to be released as the world's first luxury limousine LS600hL - have promoted the concept of hybrid as a performance enhancement.

Each of the Lexus hybrids provides performance in advance of their conventional equivalents while reducing fuel use and emissions.

Hino's breakthrough commercial vehicle hybrid reduces fuel use by up to 20 per cent with equivalent reduction in emissions.

Compounding advancements in electronics have facilitated rapid development of hybrid technology.

When Toyota introduced its first Prius, the technology did not exist to enable the launch of the much improved second-series only four years later.

Hybrid technology is not new.

In 1900 Dr Ferdinand Porsche developed a hybrid car using an internal combustion engine to spin a generator that provided power to electric motors located in the wheel hubs.

The vehicle could travel up to 60 kilometres on battery power alone, but it is not believed to have gone into series production.

The concept of hybrid spent almost three quarters of a century in hibernation.

Fuel crises in the 1970s and emission concerns caused its rejuvenation as a possible alternative to conventional power plants.

Toyota's adoption of its Earth Charter in 1992 - a company policy to direct important environmental programs - was perhaps the single most important step in the development of hybrid.

While other motor vehicle companies sought alternate solutions, including the quantum leap from conventional fuels to hydrogen power, Toyota identified hybrid as a viable means of meeting fuel and emission targets.

The Toyota Group's Earth Charter is committed to the production of ZEVs
(Zero Emission Vehicles).

The path to this goal is through the development of hybrid technology.

The Toyota Group has steadfastly maintained that hybrid is not an interim measure, but is an important component in the development of ZEV.


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Hybrid technology will become the universal power source of the future because of its extreme versatility.

The hybrid concept is capable of being applied in varying levels of intensity, and to achieve specific targets.

Within the Toyota Group of Companies it is already being used to provide fuel saving (Prius) and advanced performance (Lexus).

Toyota and Hino see hybrid systems as the core technology for 21st century automotive use.

The hybrid principle is capable of being applied to both petrol and diesel engines and can be matched to alternative fuel sources, including LPG and ethanol-blended fuel.

It has also been trialled with CNG and fuel cell technologies.

Although hybrid technology usually commands a purchase premium above conventional vehicles, its technical sophistication is capable of being modified to meet certain price points.

Mild hybrid solutions are generally less expensive than full hybrids yet they provide benefits, specifically fuel saving, which supports purchase.

Hybrid is increasingly being recognised as the cost-efficient path to meeting immediate fuel and emission control requirements around the world.

Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive was made to meet the strict requirements of California's AT-PZEV emission regulations, as well as Japan's Ultra Low Emission Levels and Euro IV regulations.

A full hybrid, such as Toyota's Prius, should be capable of delivering a 50 per cent reduction in fuel use compared with a similar, conventional vehicle.

A mild hybrid, such as Hino's breakthrough first hybrid commercial vehicle, should provide up to a 20 per cent advantage.

Reductions in emissions should be similar.

Accelerating development is quickly eradicating hybrid negatives, such as additional weight and space requirements.

In just four years Toyota reduced the size of its Prius batteries by more than 40 per cent while increasing operational efficiency.

The hybrid concept works best in inner-urban environments where stop-start conditions allow the technology to be used to full advantage.

According to Hino, hybrid technology will be with the motor industry well beyond the 21st century.

Improving existing powertrains and developing hybrid systems by combining them with electric motors is more advantageous in terms of cost and infrastructure than any other solution, the company says.

And even when a fuel cell electric vehicle is successfully commercialised it is unlikely other powertrains will disappear.

In describing the group's hybrid commitment, Toyota Group chairman Fujio Cho said: "The social mission given to us as an automaker is to maximise the automobile's benefits and minimise its drawbacks.

"Creating automobiles with low environmental impact is no longer just one option - it has become a crucial corporate task.

"It could be said that without environmental initiatives, the automobile has no future."


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Hybrid vehicle development has created significant advances in electric energy and storage creation in the last decade.

The weight and packaging demands of motor vehicle design forced hybrid vehicle manufacturers to develop many electrical components in-house, rather than use proprietary equipment.

The first hybrid vehicle developed in Australia - a Holden Commodore - was built at the CSIRO Industrial Physics Division in Lindfield (Sydney), using state-of-the-art CSIRO electric motors.

The Toyota Hybrid System in the first-generation Toyota Prius used advanced electrical components designed to maximise operating and package efficiency.

Development work for the first Prius led to performance improvements, and reductions in size and weight of components such as the electric motor and the main storage battery.

Recent advances in hybrid vehicle electrical systems have included developing the semiconductor transistor technology that supports large inverter output (as used in Hino Hybrid) and improving soldering technologies to increase heat dissipation.

These developments delivered significant performance improvements and reductions in size and weight of components, such as the electric motor and high-voltage battery.

The high-voltage battery in first-generation Toyota Prius (Prius I) marked a further advancement in sealed nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) technology - technology originally developed for electric vehicles.

Current Hino Hybrid uses Ni-MH battery technology.

Previous Hino Hybrid models used conventional lead-acid main storage batteries.

The Prius I battery offered three times the power output of electric vehicle batteries together with improved sealing and durability, and reduced weight.

Hino employs a similar battery in Hino Hybrid.


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The automotive industry is investigating a range of alternative fuels for road transportation.

Fuel technology under development includes hybrid petrol and diesel vehicles, compressed natural gas, ethanol, hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion, and cleaner diesel technology.

Most major manufacturers are working on fuel cell vehicles and there are suggestions such vehicles could be available for sale in 10 years.

The Toyota Group of Companies began trialling a hydrogen fuel cell sports utility vehicle (SUV) in Japan and California in 2002.

The company claimed the vehicle as the world's first market-ready fuel cell vehicle, with the initial Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle (FCHV) numbers going to government departments in Japan.

The FCHV generates its own on-board electricity with compressed hydrogen.

The latest-developed FCHV-4 has three times the vehicle efficiency of an ordinary petrol-powered car.

For large-scale transport needs, DaimlerChrysler has predicted fuel cell technology will change the face of trucks and buses.

The CSIRO in Australia is an active fuel-cell researcher, working on aspects as diverse as the membrane technology in the fuel cell and more efficient electric motors to drive a fuel cell vehicle.

Saab has a development program for ethanol fuel, and there is wide interest in organic-sourced diesel fuel.

However, two major vehicle manufacturers, BMW and Mazda, are developing hydrogen as a fuel for internal combustion engines.

Mazda is now leasing hydrogen fuel RX-8 rotary vehicles in Japan.

Currently the downsides are the cost of infrastructure to provide hydrogen and the existing range of 100km on a full tank for the Mazda, and 150km for BMW hydrogen fuel vehicles.

The industry has in recent years also looked at several other fuel sources in addition to hydrogen.

These include natural gas, methanol and a relatively new concept called CHF, or clean hydrocarbon fuel.

CHF can be made from petroleum or other resources such as natural gas and coal and will also work in current petrol-powered vehicles.

Compressed natural gas is already in use in Australia in bus fleets as a more environmentally friendly fuel.

The infrastructure and refuelling time requirements make CNG suitable for fleet vehicles that work set routes and are garaged overnight - including trucks operating on the route from the Port Botany container docks to south-western Sydney.

As a cost comparison, Hino Australia argues that the costs of a hybrid truck equate to the costs of a diesel truck and CNG conversion.

Diesel in the future

The diesel engine might have a significant life in road transport, according to some experts.

In 2003, lubricating oil specialist Jim McGeehan said during a visit to Australia that engine and emission technology currently under development will give diesel "another 70 years".

Mr McGeehan was global manager of diesel engine oil technology for ChevronTexaco Global Lubricants - where he monitored environmental targets and the engine development required to meet those targets.

He chaired the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) heavy-duty engine oil classification panel - the group responsible for establishing oil categories to improve engine durability and reduce emissions.

"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been driving low diesel emission standards in the Unites States and those standards are the toughest in the world," Mr McGeehan said.

"The EPA - not someone in the engine industry - has christened the term 'clean diesel'.

"Once diesel engines are clean, through a combination of reduced fuel sulfur content and improved engine combustion and exhaust clean-up technology, they will be around for a long time - both in large trucks and light commercial vehicles."

The next generation diesels will feature a range of measures to slash emissions, he said.

"Virtually all the spending in engine development is in 'after treatment'.

"We'll see two alternative approaches to reducing emissions:

1. Further refinement of exhaust gas recirculation coupled with such features as catalysed particulate filters and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) absorbers, and

2. Catalysed particulate filters with selective catalytic reducing using aqueous urea injection and ammonia slip catalysts."

Emission standards being drafted for oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) will see a reduction to 1.9 per cent of the 1988 level by 2010.

The EPA's target figures for 2010 are 0.013 grams per kW-hr for particulate and 0.27 grams per kW-hr for NOx emissions.

Under US regulations, the emission reduction equipment fitted to the vehicle must remain operational for the service life of the truck - 720,000 kilometres.


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More than one million hybrid vehicles a year will be delivered globally by early next decade.

That figure represents some 1.6 per cent of world motor vehicle production - and demand is growing exponentially.

Respected industry analyst J.D. Power has forecast sales of light vehicle hybrids this year will reach 2.1 per cent of sales in the US and increase to more than four per cent by 2012.

J.D. Power says that while 11 vehicle manufacturers currently make hybrids, 52 models will be on the market in the next five years.

Hybrid leader Toyota is anticipating a major ramp-up in US sales.

It delivered 312,000 Prius hybrid in the US in 2006, a third more than in 2005,
and has forecast 430,000 US deliveries in 2007.

J.D. Power's projection is based on the increasing take-up of hybrid technology by truck makers in both light and heavy-duty segments.

While Hino remains the first heavy-duty truck maker to bring a production hybrid to market, at least two other brands have this year announced their intention to follow.

Hybrid take-up is likely to be accelerated by increasing government incentives.

Governments around the world have announced novel ways to encourage adoption of the new technology.

In the first half of this decade the US offered $7 billion in tax credits for buyers of HEVs (Hybrid Electric Vehicles).

The UK offered a $2800 subsidy on all hybrid vehicles.

The Netherlands, Austria and France offered similar subsidies, while Singapore provided a 20 per cent rebate on registration fees.

In Australia annual demand for Toyota Prius now outstrips many conventionally powered small cars and at least two major marques.

Toyota delivered 1974 Prius in 2006 and has sold 727 in the first quarter of 2007, more than double last year's demand.

In 2006 Toyota Prius accounted for more sales than the entire Alfa Romeo and Saab franchises, and demand was almost three times greater than for all of the Smart cars sold in Australia.

This year Prius demand is double that for Mini Cooper and, importantly, more than the combined sales of Mercedes-Benz A-Class and B-Class vehicles.

Prius demand was almost double that for both Ford Fairlane and Holden Caprice.

Hybrid take-up by fleets has been significant.

According to FCAI VFACTS data, demand for passenger car and SUV hybrids in the first quarter of 2007 was running at a ratio of 42 per cent private to 58 per cent fleet.

The figures are consistent with the expectation that many fleets would want to trial green technology, but equally they reveal the ready take-up of the new technology by private buyers.


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DIMENSIONS (mm): All dimensions are to standard specification and unladen chassis
Wheelbase 3430
Overall length 6120
Overall width 1995
Overall height 2190
Cab to rear axle centre 2840
Front overhang 1045
Rear overhang 1645
Front chassis height 680
Rear chassis height 755
Front track 1665
Rear track 1520
Road clearance (at diff. case) 175
Turning radius (kerb to kerb) 5800
Turning radius (Swept) 6470
Total 2535
Front 1715
Rear 820
Max. output 110kW at 3000 rpm
Max. torque 392Nm at 1600 rpm
Max engine speed 3400 rpm
Type Diesel, VNT turbocharged & intercooled, 4 cylinder in-line with 4 valves per cylinder. Direct injection combustion using electronic controlled common rail
Bore and stoke 104 x 118mm
Displacement 4009cc
Compression ratio 18.0:1
Cooling fan Indirect type fitted with viscous coupling
Exhaust Horizontal Outlet
Type Dry single plate with damper springs
Control Hydraulic with vacuum booster
Facing material Non Asbestos
Facing outside diameter 325mm
Auto adjuster Equipped
Type 6 Forward & 1 Reverse speeds. Overdrive with mechanical control. Synchromesh 1st to 6th
Gear ratios 1st, 5.044; 2nd, 2.954; 3rd, 1.568; 4th, 1.000; 5th, 0.819; 6th, 0.655; Reverse, 4.803
Type Reversed Elliot 'I' section beam
Capacity 3100kg
Type Full-floating, single reduction, single speed with hypoid gears
Capacity 5100kg
Ratio 4.875:1
Universal joints Round bearing type
Centre bearing 1-piece
Type Hydraulic ABS system with disc brakes for both front and rear
Disc diameter 231mm front and rear
Park brake Transmission Mounted
Exhaust brake Electric-Vacuum actuator with valve in exhaust pipe
ES Start Equipped
Type Collapsible telescopic and tilt steering column and wheel locking device. Recirculating ball with hydraulic booster integral type
Gear ratio 18.6:1
Type Taper leaf springs with double acting shock absorbers, silencers
Size x leaves 1250 x 70mm x 2 leaves
Type Taper leaf main and auxiliary springs with shock absorbers
Size x leaves ( Main ) 1320 x 70mm x 2 leaves
Size x leaves (Auxiliary) 900 x 70mm x 2 leaves
Wheel type 6-stud disc wheel (JIS type)
Rim size 16 x 5.5K - offset 115mm
Tyre size 205/85R16 - 117/115
Number of tyres 7 (including one spare tyre)
Spare tyre carrier Equipped
Tool kit Includes wheel brace and hydraulic jack
Capacity 100 litres
Fuel pre-filter & sedimenter Equipped with water separator
Cap lock Provided
Type Parallel Chassis
Rear chassis width 750mm
Size 191 x 65 x 5.0mm
Tensile strength 540N/mm² [55kgf/mm²]
Hook Equipped for front & rear
Type EGIS safety cab. Forward Control, all steel construction with torsion bar tilt mechanism
Seating capacity Two
Driver's seat Two-way adjustable seat with fabric cover, three-point lap sash seat belt with pre-tensioner
Side passenger's seat Fixed seat with fabric cover, three-point lap sash seat belt with pre-tensioner
Centre console Fitted
SRS airbag Fitted for both driver and passenger sides
Sun visor Fitted for driver and passenger sides
Windshield wipers Two-speed and intermittent control
Rear view mirrors Two x West Coast type with spotter mirror on LHS
Overhead console Fitted
Audio AM/FM radio with CD player
Air conditioning Push button type fitted as standard. Ventilation via electric blower
Power windows Equipped
Door lock Keyless central locking
Trim Full Hi-Grade
Meters and gauges
Speedometer Fuel gauge
Odometer with 2 trip meters Coolant temperature gauge
Warning, pilot lamps and buzzers
Oil pressure warning lamp Charging warning lamp
Engine control failure warning lamp Parking brake indicator lamp
Stop lamp failure warning lamp Reverse warning buzzer
Fuel level warning lamp Hazard warning lamp
Exhaust brake indicator Turn signal indicator lamp
Fuel filter moisture level warning lamp Beam indicator lamp
Engine oil pressure warning lamp  
Lighting switch Dome lamp switch
Wiper and washer switch Exhaust brake switch
Directional indicator and dimmer switch Hazard lamp switch
DPR Manual Override  
One-key starting-stopping Horn button
Fluorescent lamp  
Type 24 volt, negative earth
Batteries 12 volt x 2, series connection
Capacity 60Ah at 20-hour rate
Alternator 24V, 80A with built-in rectifier & voltage regulator
Headlamps Semi-sealed beam, halogen type
Other lamps Clearance lamps, Licence plate lamp, reversing lamp, stop/tail lamps, directional indicators and internal dome lamp
Electric motor/generator
Max output 23kW
Max torque (Nm) 143Nm @ 1100 rpm
Motor type 3 phase Alternating Current
Type of battery Nickel Hydroxide & solid Metal Hydride
Related voltage 273 volts
Battery capacity 6.5Ah
Cooling system Water cooled
General items
Idle stop Fitted
Exhaust system Stainless steel
Catalytic converter DPR filter (Diesel particulate Active Reduction System)
Idle stop Fitted
Exhaust Emission Easily conforms to Euro IV requirements

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2007 Hino Hybrid engine bay
2007 Hino Hybrid battery case and engine
2007 Hino Hybrid interior
2007 Hino Hybrid cab chassis
2007 Hino Hybrid cab chassis
2007 Hino Hybrid
2007 Hino Hybrid
2007 Hino Hybrid
2007 Hino Hybrid
2007 Hino Hybrid