Hino Motors Ltd announced that it has developed a new hybrid system for pickup trucks and will conduct field tests of it with some users.
The company plans to measure the fuel consumption of the hybrid system based on actual usages and use the data for improving the fuel efficiency, aiming to commercialize the system in 2011.
The new hybrid system has a clutch between its engine and motor. And it can drive a truck by using only the motor. Because it does not run the engine, more regenerative electric power can be collected when a truck is slowing down.
In addition, Hino improved the control system and the efficiency of the inverter. In a test conducted at the company, the hybrid system enhanced the fuel efficiency of a diesel truck by about 50%.
Furthermore, Hino reduced the sizes and weights of the main components of the hybrid system. It comes with a nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeable battery using the same metal module as used for Toyota Motor Corp's Lexus GS450h hybrid sedan.
Hino made improvements to the engine and transmission of the hybrid system, enabling to stop idling the engine in the D range, drive in the "eco," "normal" and "power" modes, use a lamp that indicates the state of "eco driving," etc.
The field tests will be participated in by 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.