Hino has been leading the way with the introduction of hybrid powertrain technology into the Australian truck market.

The Japanese manufacturer already offers the Hino 300 Series Hybrid Electric light-duty truck in Australia and opting for the electric/diesel powertrain promises operators somewhere around a 20% fuel saving.

That’s not something to sneeze at.

Now there’s another possible application for the Hino hybrid – tilt-tray tow trucks.

Hino has unveiled a prototype of the variant (as seen above) which was produced  in collaboration with Japan-based body builder, Kyokuto.

It will now be put through its paces in the world of motorsports as a recovery vehicle for the Repco Supercars Championship.

With Hino regularly being a first choice among tow truck operators, and the potential economic benefits for operators with the hybrid powertrain, this seems like a commonsense possible addition to the Hino range.

We’ll keep you updated with further developments.

Meantime, we’ve been made privy to some sales numbers for the hybrid version of the Hino.

Hino Australia President and CEO Richard Emery confirming the local operation expected to sell 500 hybrid trucks next year, a total up ten fold on just a couple of years ago.

With the price of diesel as it stands at present, that’s probably not a great surprise!