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Green Trucking

The Tokyo commercial vehicle show is a showcase for future emission-reducing technologies.

Tokyo — The 38th Tokyo Motor Show, the final dedicated to commercial vehicles, produced few surprises and little in the way of breakthrough technology. Still, Japanese truckmakers put more than 100 vehicles on display including an array of hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles.

Mitsubishi-Fuso Truck & Bus Corp.

Mitsubishi-Fuso Truck & Bus Corp., still reeling from a series of costly recalls, exhibited a hybrid Canter truck that complies with Japan’s new diesel emission standards that go into effect this year (2005). The truck, a parallel hybrid with an “idle-stop” system, is powered by a 3.0L turbocharged diesel engine and 35kW motor built into the transmission which draws power from a 300-volt manganese-lithium battery. The combined effect: a 30 percent increase in fuel economy.

The truck’s “4M42T” engine is equipped with common-rail injection and exhaust gas recirculation systems which, linked to a continuously regenerating diesel particulate filter, substantially reduce emissions of NOx and particulates.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. supplies the Canter’s “idle-stop” system; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi Ltd., its compact motor and secondary battery; and Exedy Corp. (the former Daikin Manufacturing Co.), the truck’s electronically controlled automatic transmission (called INOMAT-II).

Although no decision has yet been made on price, management indicated that it would probably list the model for roughly the same price as Hino Motors’ hybrid Dutro, thus around ¥4.2 million ($40,300). The company plans to introduce the model in early 2006 with expected sales of 100 units per month during the first year on the market. Initially, the model will be available only in Japan although management is studying the feasibility of eventually selling it in the U.S. and Australia. No time frame was offered.

Other Mitsubishi-Fuso models on display included a “high-roof” dump truck based on the company’s Super Great model and a concept tractor that features a crushable front safety bumper, all-wheel disc and anti-lock brakes, single-rear tires, LED headlamps, a pedestrian monitoring system and color rearview mirrors. The model’s aerodynamic design, with a drag coefficient of 0.43 cd, contributes to a 10 percent savings in fuel consumption.

Hino Motors Ltd.

Hino Motors Ltd., Japan’s top producer of heavy-duty trucks, displayed a hybrid version of the medium-duty Hino 165 (sold in the U.S. through Hino Motor Sales USA Inc.) and a special show model of the light-duty Dutro Hybrid that features a crane for elevated work. The Dutro Hybrid, a parallel type which went on sale in November 2003, runs off a 4.0L diesel engine and electric motor. A Hino executive projects yearly sales of 5,000 units in five years’ time.

Other Hino “hybrids” on display included a concept van named the Global, a Ranger truck — and a pair of buses — the Blue Ribbon and a S’Elega R. The current S’Elega R, a custom bus, is equipped with a lead-acid battery. Researchers confirmed that the next generation will employ a more powerful lithium-ion unit. Through 2004, Hino had sold only 60 units in large part due to its ¥48 million ($460,000) price tag. Hino also displayed three advanced safety vehicles including a long-haul concept truck, a city truck and the Profia tractor (which was displayed at the 11th ITS World Congress in Nagoya one month earlier).

Isuzu Motors Ltd.

Isuzu Motors Ltd. displayed more than half a dozen vehicles including a series of lowemission Elf trucks. Among these: a diesel hybrid powered by a 4.8L “4HL1” engine and electric motor-generator and a unit modified to run on dimethyl ether, a natural gas derivative that contains no particulates.

The Nissan Quon features the final low emission new diesel system (FLENDS) that uses a series of ultra-high pressure injectors and a urea-solution aftertreatment system.

Isuzu, still owned 12 percent by General Motors Corp., also displayed a series of lowemission trucks and powertrains including a 4- cylinder diesel engine and 6-cylinder diesel engine that comply with Japan’s new diesel emission regulations scheduled to go into effect in 2005 along with diesel particulate defuser.

For medium- and heavy-duty trucks like the Isuzu Forward or Hino Profia,which weigh in excess of 3,700 kg (8,140 pounds) those standards are 0.027 gram per km for particulate matter, 2.0 grams per km for NOx, 2.22 grams per km for carbon monoxide; and 0.17 gram per km for hydrocarbons.

Nissan Diesel Motor Co.

Nissan Diesel Motor Co. displayed a new heavy-duty, the Quon, that features the company’s “FLENDS” fuel injection system. FLENDS (standing for Final Low Emission New Diesel System) has adopted a series of ultra-high pressure injectors for the company’s 13L, 6-cylinder “GE-13” engine with an exhaust gas aftertreatment system that uses urea solution.

Modified to run on compressed natural gas, the system, which cuts CO2 emissions by onefourth compared to current-generation CNG engines, meets Japan’s 2005 emission regulations. A company spokesman explains that use of urea makes it possible to reduce emissions of particulates and NOxconcurrently. Urea acts as a NOx-reduction additive. Supplier of the additive (called “AdBlue”) is Mitsui Chemicals Inc.

Toyota Motor Corp.

The Toyota Probox wagon runs on CNG, has a cruising range of 200 miles and emits no particulate matter.

Toyota Motor Corp., the majority owner of Hino Motors, displayed the Dyna truck equipped with its DPNR (diesel-particulate NOx reduction) system, a hybrid Toyoace featuring common- rail injection and a DPR (diesel particulate active reduction) system and a CNG version of its Probox wagon which has a cruising range of more than 200 miles and, while emitting no particulate matter, lowers NOx emissions to 75 percent below 2005 standards; the model is powered by Toyota’s 1NZ-FNE engine. Toyota also unveiled a concept pickup truck, a double-cab four-seater, powered by a V8 “hybrid” engine.

The 111 exhibitors included minitruck makers like Suzuki Motor Corp. and Daihatsu Motor Co., nearly 80 particpants were component makers including Aisin Seiki Co. and Aisin AW Co., Bridgestone Corp., Calsonic-Kansei Corp., Denso Corp., Koito Manufacturing Co., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., NGK Spark Plug Co. and Toyoda Gosei Co.

This article was provided exclusively to Automotive Industries by J•REPORTS, a new information service offering in-depth coverage of automotive technology based in Tokyo. For additional information about this and other studies and prices, contact

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