Hino, in Japan, have unveiled a hybrid truck designed to use the electrical energy produced by the hybrid unit during regenerative braking and while the truck is cruising to power a refrigeration unit on a truck body. The joint venture between Hino and component manufacturer Denso is said to be a world first.
The new system is to be released on to the Japanese truck market this month, fitted to a Hino Profia (known in Australia as the 700 Series). Improved fuel economy is expected as the fridge unit does not require a separate fuel supply. The unit is said to run quieter than conventional refrigeration units on trucks. It also reduces weight by 150 kg. The option of a plug in power supply can be used when the truck is parked up for long periods without the engine running.
“While Hino’s hybrid technology has been improving truck fuel economy for some time, Hino’s engineers are constantly looking for better ways to improve the efficiency and performance of its vehicles,” said Alex Stewart, Hino Australia Divisional Manager Product Strategy, Marketing and Customer Care. “The fuel savings resulting from this innovation means that the new Hino Profia’s (700 Series) fuel efficiency beats Japan’s 2015 standards by five per cent.
“And the reduced ongoing running costs from simplifying the refrigeration system will make for an even better cost-performance proposition for owners and operators. Hino has a long-term commitment to producing hybrid vehicles that deliver driving performance, fuel economy and low emissions without any operational downside, and the expertise that has come from this is now leading to even greater things.”
One of the stories missed in the coverage of the recent Dakar Rally is that of Yoshimasa Sugawara, who was competing in the race for the 32nd time. At 72 years old, he was competing in a development truck for Hino, coming in second, in the under 10 litre truck class.
Simply finishing the gruelling 9,200 km event after thirteen days struggling through the Andes Mountains and deserts in Argentina and Chile is a great achievement for the Dakar veteran, competing as part of the Hino team, in their 23rd successive year in the rally.
Yoshimasa’s son Teruhito Sugawara was the winner of the under 10 litre truck class, coming in 12th overall in the truck division. Both father and son came home in their Hino 500 trucks, and their one-two result saw Hino win this class of the truck rally on the fifth successive occasion.
72 year old Yoshimasa was driving an experimental truck using the newly developed Hino AO9C 8.9 litre engine. This engine has a phenomenal 600 hp at its disposal from the relatively small capacity engine, 115 hp more than the engine used in the Hino 500 which won the event.
“I took part in this year’s Dakar rally as a test driver for our new truck, and I’m very happy with the results,” said Yoshimasa Sugawara after the race. “I am particularly moved by the fact that my son and I were able to achieve a 1-2 finish in the Under 10-litre class.”
One of the features used to improve performance over the length of the rally was an adaptation to the common rail fuel injection system to improve parameters in the control unit to take account of changes brought on by competing at altitudes of over 3000 metres. These changes give the driveline more torque over a wider rpm range.
With Hino’s current CEO and President, Kenichi Sekine, returning to Japan after four and a half years in Australia, his positions are to be take-up by an Australian, Steve Lotter. He will move across to take up the roles as Chairman and CEO and the positions he currently holds, as President and COO, will be taken by a newcomer, Shunichi (Sean) Takahashi.
Takahashi is currently based in Tokyo working as the General Manager of Overseas Planning at Hino in Japan. Takahashi has more than 30 years’ experience with Hino and Toyota, having previously held positions such as Director of Toyota Brazil and Toyota Argentina. “Steve and I have worked closely together, and I am very glad that his efforts have been recognised by this appointment,” said Sekine. “The past four-and-a-half years have been both challenging and exciting; I would like to thank everyone at Hino Australia and the Hino dealer network for their strong support.”