Hino to launch Profia Hybrid next year

By: Rob McKay

Discussions on roll-out beyond Japan about to be held

Hino to launch Profia Hybrid next year
The Hino Profia Hybrid


Four years after flagging a hybrid drivetrain for its Profia heavy-duty truck, Hino has announced plans to launch the low emissions version of the vehicle in Japan next summer.

The move is linked to the manufacturer’s "Environmental Challenge 2050" unveiled last October with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from it vehicles by 90 per cent and to zero from manufacturing to disposal and from within its factories by that date.

"In order to achieve this, we believe that it is essential to improve the fuel consumption performance of heavy-duty trucks, which accounts for approximately 70 per cent of the Hino vehicles' total CO2 emissions, and we have advanced technology development," Hino says.

Australian plans for what equates to a hybid version of the Hino 700 in local terms, await more details, with Hino Motor Sales Australia general manager - brand and franchise development Bill Gillespie telling ATN that a local Hino team will attend a product planning meeting in Japan next week.

 Read how the Hino Profia Hybrid idea first surfaced here

Hino is promising an "innovative large truck that combines environmental performance and safety performance at a high level" in the Profia Hybrid.

And, in what it describes as a "world first", the vehicle will use artificial intelligence (AI) to focus on road and route conditions.

"Large-sized trucks have been regarded as unsuitable for hybrids because of the low frequency of starting and stopping mainly by constant-speed driving on expressways," the group says.

"Hino focused on the fact that its deceleration energy on the descending slope is very large because of its mass.

"We have developed a new hybrid system adopting the world's first technology that pre-reads the gradient on the route based on 3D map information etc., predicts the travel load by AI, and performs optimal hybrid control.

"As a result, by efficiently regenerating and utilising the deceleration energy, we realised the fuel economy effect under the driving conditions specific to heavy-duty trucks.

"About 15 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions is obtained for diesel vehicles in in-house testing.

"For our customers, we can expect to save operating expenses by reducing fuel consumption while maintaining basic performance and usability as trucks of loading capacity and cruising distance equivalent to diesel cars.

"In addition, it reduces noise and vibration during running due to motor running, and contributes to reducing driver's fatigue. It also has an external power supply function and can be used as an emergency power supply device in the event of a disaster."

Hino in Japan have few immediate details this time around but says the main technologies adopted in the new hybrid system include:

  • gradient lookahead hybrid control using AI: this will read the gradient of the traveling route from the vehicle position information by GPS etc. and 3D map information. "Based on that, AI predicts the running load," Hino says. "We will optimise fuel economy and battery management."
  • brake coordination regenerative control:  During foot brake operation, in order to recover the maximum deceleration energy, "regenerative braking is prioritised [and] control is performed"
  • lithium ion battery.


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