|HiJet Cargo Hybrid|
Nikkei Business reports that Daihatsu Motor (a subsidiary of Toyota) will finally introduce its first mini-hybrid commercial car to the market. After first appearing at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2002, the Hijet Cargo Hybrid (earlier post) is slated to go on sale in Japan next Monday.
The Hijet Cargo Hybrid combines a 659cc gasoline engine with an electric motor for an approximately 30% increase in fuel efficiency (compared to its gasoline-only counterpart) and uses Daihatsu’s proprietary high-performance self-regenerating catalytic converter to achieve Japan-Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (J-ULEV) level emissions.
|Daihatsu Mild Hybrid System|
The 43-kW (58-hp) engine is paired with an ultra-thin 9.6-kW electric motor and a 216V nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery to create the Daihatsu Mild Hybrid System (DMHS). (Illustrated at right.) The DMHS integration, controls and electronics are based on Toyota’s hybrid technology.
With Daihatsu’s Hijet entry, the three main members of the Toyota group (Toyota, Hino and Daihatsu) now have hybrids on the market.
According to the Nikkei Business report, Daihatsu’s market expectations for the hybrid are small—some 15 to 20 vehicles per month. The additional cost of the hybrid powertrain applied to a mini-car format might not be viable without efforts to lower the production costs by standardizing and implementing the technology across a wider range of vehicles.
(A hat-tip to Jack Rosebro!)