Hino Motors has already introduced hybrid systems for trucks and buses and it is even testing a fuel cell hybrid system. Today, Hino announced that it has also developed a new hybrid system suitable for pichups and it will conduct field tests. Hino aims to put the system in production in 2011.
The new hybrid system has a clutch between the engine and the motor and it can drive a truck with the use of only one motor. Due to the fact that it doesn't run the engine, more regenerative electric power can be collected when a truck is slowing down.
In addition, Hino has improved the control system and the efficiency of the inverter. In a test conducted by the company, the hybrid system enhanced the fuel efficiency of a diesel truck by about 50%.
Hino has also reduced the sizes and weights of the main components of the hybrid system, which comes with a nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeable battery using the same metal module as used for the Lexus GS450h. Improvements to the engine and transmission of the hybrid system have been made as well.
Companies which will participate in the field tests include Ito En Ltd, Sagawa Express Co Ltd, Seino Transportation Co Ltd, Sohgo Security Services Co Ltd, Yamato Transport Co Ltd and Japan Post Service Co Ltd.
Hino, part of Toyota Group (トヨタグループ), is also responsible for the manufacturing of the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado SUV and the FJ Cruiser.