The move towards carbon neutrality in the transport industry came through strongly with the vehicles on the Hino stand at the recent Tokyo Mobility Show where the company emphasised powertrain options including diesel-electric hybrids, battery electric and hydrogen fuel cells, to meet emissions targets.

The theme at the Hino display was “We make a better world and future by helping people and goods get where they need to go.” The theme was carried through by showing visitors vehicles, videos, and information panels.

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The dominant truck on the Hino display was the heavy-duty Profia (700-Series in South Africa) freight carrier, which uses Toyota and Hino-developed hydrogen fuel cells and a lithium-ion battery to power an AC synchronous electric motor. The hydrogen gas is stored in tanks at a pressure of 70 MPa and can provide a driving range of about 600 km before it needs to be refilled.

Two applications of the battery electric Hino Dutro Z EV were on show. One was a walkthrough van and the other an aluminium van with a side door. The ultra-low floor platform, which is exclusive to Hino’s Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), makes it easier to handle cargo and for the driver to get in and out of the vehicle and to move between the driver’s seat and the cargo area.

These vehicles target ‘last mile’ suppliers who need zero emission transport. Each of these vans can carry a load of 1 000 kg and up to two occupants. A 40-kWh lithium-ion battery provides power to a 50-kW AC synchronous electric motor. The vans have a range of about 150 km between charges and they have a fast-charging mode when required.

Hino also displayed two methods in which the company is already involved to cut emissions and increase productivity.

The first is CUBE-LINX which provides a financial modelling consultancy service to customers about adopting electric vehicles and ancillary equipment such as battery chargers and then offers a management system to ensure the best productivity from the EV vehicles.

The other project is Hino’s partnership with NEXT LOGISTICS Japan which is developing solutions to solve the challenges that the logistics industry is facing, such as a shortage of drivers and lower loading rates. Solutions include using mixed loads from various customers and double-connected trucks. About 40 cargo transport companies are already involved in the project.

Colin Windell