Hino to take multiple pathways to develop cleaner trucks

9th November 2023

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Truck and bus manufacturer Hino Motors says it will follow its parent company, Toyota Motor Corporation, in championing multiple powertrains as it aims for carbon neutrality by 2050. 

The strategy aims for carbon neutrality for the entire lifecycle of each Hino truck and bus, including production, use and disposal.

“Hino’s policy is to improve fuel consumption; adopt battery electric, fuel-cell or hybrid vehicles depending on the type of operation; switch to low-carbon fuel; and streamline the entire logistics system by using appropriate types of vehicles,” says Hino chief product and project officer Koji Toyoshima.

Hino is looking to use single platforms for each of its model ranges and to fit them with what the manufacturer views as the most relevant power plant for each application, be it battery electric, hydrogen fuel-cell or plug-in hybrids.

Hino is also evaluating “a unified engine structure for fuel diversity”, which involves developing a base internal combustion engine that can operate on normal diesel, or which can be adapted to run on liquid compressed natural gas, as well as gaseous compressed natural gas and hydrogen gas, which should spread research and development costs “effectively and reasonably”.

Hino has also come up with a system to lower operating costs by using a standardised battery, which can then be used alone, or in batches of four, or six, or more, depending on the application. 

This means customers will buy the vehicle and battery (or batteries) separately. 

This also means the batteries can be used by a host of vehicles within a fleet, and not be left standing around, which also cuts the number of batteries required.

Trucks and buses can, therefore, be sold at a price that does not include the cost of the battery. 

Customers will also be able to pay only for the use of the battery and for the energy needed to charge it, with the ability to swop out batteries running out of electricity for ones that are fully charged. 

Hino also pinpoints a number of social issues impacting the transport industry negatively.

These include drivers working long hours for low wages, as well as the expansion of e-commerce, which contributes to increasing logistics volumes.

Another challenge in many countries is the rapid ageing of truck drivers, sometimes coupled with a declining birth rate. 

Being a truck driver is also often not viewed as a worthwhile career. 

Then there is the matter of safety in terms of road accidents and, in many countries, the safety of drivers from attacks, robberies and hijackings.

The global trucking industry must work together to develop answers for each of these challenges, says Toyoshima. 

Some of the answers will be improving the working environment and conditions of employment, securing a diverse workforce, and reducing road accidents with greater use of active and passive safety equipment.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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