Toyota planning to introduce a hybrid truck in the United States

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 15, 2011

The Toyota Group will start selling its hybrid truck in the U.S. this December. The 14,500-pound hybrid will be known as the 155h, while the 19,500-pounder will be sold as the 195h. The regular diesel versions of these two models will arrive this August.

This 7- to 9-ton diesel-electric cab over engine commercial truck is built by Toyota's truckmaking unit, Hino Motors Ltd., which had been absent from the U.S. light-duty truck market for seven years.

This truck is known as the Dutro in Japan. Hino re-engineered the line so that the hybrid version’s fuel economy rating is 50% improved over the older generation's diesel-only variant.

Hino is expanding in the U.S. as part of its aim for its global light-duty truck sales to quadruple to 140,000 units a year by 2015. Hino has yet to reveal what its U.S. sales projections for these trucks are. It also declined to say the percentage of sales that’s expected to be from hybrids.

The new Dutro will start selling in Japan on July 2. Hino expects that 30% of sales will be made up of hybrids. Hino engineers developed the hybrid drivetrain independently from Toyota.

Notably, Toyota Group supplier Aisin Seiki built the truck's six-speed automatic transmission. Its nickel-metal hydride battery is similar to the one installed on the Lexus LS hybrid.

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