Truck & Bus News understands that Hino may be the first truck brand to offer a full battery EV truck on the Australian market, with Hino dealers being informed that they can expect Electric trucks to be made available from the fourth quarter this year.

A Hino dealer, who spoke to us on the strict condition of anonymity, has told T&B News that Hino revealed its plans to the dealer network at the company’s recent Dealer Conference, telling the gathered dealers that they would be offering two battery electric models based on existing Hino diesel powered trucks, but assembled in Melbourne by SEA with an electric driveline installed in their facility

If the story is correct, and we believe it is, and the battery electric Hinos arrive in dealers in the fourth quarter, then Hino could be the first mainstream manufacturer to offer an electric powered truck for sale on the Australian market, beating its rivals isuzu and Fuso to market.

Hino has kept its electric truck program quiet, while both its Japanese rivals, Isuzu and Fuso have been open in revealing the development of electric trucks, Isuzu announcing almost two years ago details of a program with SEA, and Fuso using the eCanter developed by Daimler in Japan as part of the corporation’s overall electrification program.

The unnamed Hino dealer said that Hino is apparently calling the relationship with SEA a “project collaboration with the Australian based EV company”.

We understand that SEA will receive Hino ‘glider’ trucks from Japan, and then will fit batteries and an electric power train to the trucks at its Dandenong plant, building an electric truck range using Hino components and sold through Hino dealerships.

The dealer told T&B News that they have been told that two EV models will be available initially with one based on the light duty model and one based on the 500 Series medium duty platform but said that more details on the truck spec and the SEA electric powertrain were being promised by April this year.

SEA has already supplied a number of Hino based battery electric powered medium duty trucks to ANC, which has three of the SEA modified electric Hinos  which have been successfully working in the Sydney metro area for more than a year on the delivery contract the company has with Swedish homewares giant, IKEA. We understand that a Queensland transport company, All Purpose, also operates a SEA converted electric Hino 300 series 917,  servicing an  Ikea contract in that state.

T&B News will reveal more  details of the electric Hinos as they come to hand.