Hino Hybrid Electric Built to Go. Photo by Chris Pavlich/The Photo Pitch

Hino has announced it will be expanding its built to go options with its range of hybrid trucks saying the move will give customers more choice with the expanded range set to be available in Hino dealerships from July this year.

In an interesting nuance in Hino’s press statement about the expanded range, the company is calling the  trucks ‘hybrid electric’ , rather than just hybrid, perhaps to draw attention away from the fact that it does not have a full battery electric truck of its own yet.

“Rising fuel prices and an increased focus from customers wanting to minimise their environmental impact has seen sales of Australia’s only Hybrid Electric light-duty truck soar,” said  Hino’s department manager for product strategy, Daniel Petrovski.

“The introduction of the new Alloy Tray and TradeAce Built to Go models to our Hybrid Electric range offers customers a high quality, cost effective and versatile drive-away solution that can reduce business operating costs from day one.

“Not only do our Hybrid Electric models meet Euro 6 exhaust emissions standards, but recent real-world trials comparing the proven Hino Hybrid Electric truck against a traditional diesel equivalent revealed a 22% reduction in fuel use and CO2 emissions,” he continued.

Greater savings are achievable depending on the application of the vehicle and how it is driven.

Hino says its ‘hybrid electric’ customers also benefit from a reduction in maintenance costs as the electric motor replaces the diesel engine’s starter motor and alternator, and the regenerative braking reduces the use of service brakes and increases the life of the brakes, all while charging the Hybrid batteries.

“Hino 300 Series Hybrid customers can reduce yearly maintenance costs by up to 16 per cent,” he continued.

The company says its  300 Series Built to Go Hybrid Electric TradeAce models are fitted with a Hino Genuine aluminium tray, ladder racks and a Hino Genuine premium Bullbar (Wide Cab) or nudge bar (Standard Cab).

The 300 Series Alloy Tray range is fitted with the same base aluminium tray body specification as the TradeAce models but without the ladder racks and nudge/bull bar.

The 300 Series Hybrid Electric Built to Go range includes the 616 Standard and Wide Cab 4.5 tonne GVM car-licenced models through to the 716 Wide Cab with a 6.5 tonne GVM.

The Hybrid system uses a lightweight Power Control Unit (PCU) that encompasses the battery, inverter, Engine Control Unit (ECU) and DC-DC Converter

The Hino N04C-WR four cylinder common-rail injected turbo-diesel engine produces 150hp (110kW) and 470Nm of torque, which is delivered in combination with the electric motor, with maximum torque available at a very low 1200rpm.

Because maximum torque is available at such low rpm, fuel use is minimised.

The six-speed automated transmission with the electric drive motor directly coupled to it results in quicker gear shifts and smoother take-offs.

“The new Hybrid Electric Built to Go models will be of particular appeal to tradespeople and small business operators who are seeking a versatile drive-away solution that can reduce operating costs from day one,” continued Mr Petrovski.

Hino says that like all  its ‘hybrid electric’ models, the new Built to Go models will feature Hino SmartSafe, a comprehensive safety package with advanced driver-assist technology that takes an active focus in protecting the lives of all road users.

It says that Hino SmartSafe includes a Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Pedestrian Detection (PD) and Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS). This is in addition to Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), reverse camera, dual SRS airbags, four-wheel disc brakes UN ECE R-29 cab strength certified cab and hill start assist (easy start).

Hino makes the claim that with more than 700 ‘hybrid electric’ trucks on Australian roads, it has ‘led the way with low-emission trucks for over 15 years’.

Hino  says the 300 Series Hybrid Electric light-duty range is driven by Toyota Group technology that is proven in millions of hybrid vehicles worldwide.