Hino Motors, a company that produces everything from medium- and heavy-duty trucks, to buses and even Toyota-badged vehicles like the Land Cruiser Prado SUV, FJ Cruiser, Dyna trucks and the Toyoace commercial products, is developing a hybrid system for its light-duty lineup of trucks. The setup will be field tested in Japan to assess real-world reductions in fuel consumption prior to its planned commercial launch in 2011.
The hybrid system features a clutch between the engine and motor and provides the light-duty trucks with all-electric drive capabilities. Testing conducted by Hino has shown a 50-percent improvement in fuel efficiency over a traditional diesel truck. The hybrid setup features a NiMH battery pack and advanced controllers and electronics designed to improve overall efficiency. Hino claims that the size and weight of the various hybrid components are significantly reduced compared to similar systems. The diesel-electric setup will be dropped into vehicles that are hitting the streets very soon. Several companies, including the Japan Post Service Co. Ltd., will get a chance to test it out long before the commercial debut.

[Source: Green Car Congress]

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