|Hino Hybrid System|
Hino Motors, owned by Toyota, plans to upgrade the hybrid systems in its trucks with more powerful battery packs and a smaller and lighter motor by the end of the year with the goal of improving fuel economy by about 10% from the current hybrid levels.
Hino launched its first generation of hybrid truck in 1993. The introduction of the Hino Ranger Hybrid (2003) and Dutro Hybrid (2004) marked the fourth-generation of hybrid systems for commercial trucks. (Earlier post.)
Hino also aims to lower production costs by sharing hybrid components with its parent Toyota. The hybrid Dutro is now priced around ¥1.1 million (US$9,300) higher than the diesel engine version, but the company seeks to reduce the price gap by 30-40%.
Hino’s hybrid truck sales in Japan reached about 1,500 units in 2005. By 2007, the firm would like to increase that to 2,000–3,000 units.
The current Hino HIMR (Hybrid Inverter-Controlled Motor and Retarder) system is a mild parallel hybrid that in the Ranger couples an inline 4-cylinder, 4.7-liter diesel (132 kW / 177 hp) with a 23 kW (31 hp) electric motor/generator and a 274V Nickel-Hydrogen battery. The system features regenerative braking to recharge the battery and stop-start functionality. The electric motor assists the engine whenever high torque is needed, such as during startup and acceleration.
Hino’s clean diesel system uses a next-generation common-rail fuel injection system, a cool EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) and variable nozzle turbocharger, and a post-processing unit DPR (Diesel Particulate active Reduction) cleaner with a PM collection rate of 95%, which work in concert to burn the collected PM.