We have all heard all the talk about the fuel economy and innovations of Hybrid Cars and how they are sweeping the nation. Last year in 2004 in fact over 88,000 Hybrids were sold and waiting lists are still climbing. Honda, Toyota and Ford cannot build them fast enough. Things are changing indeed. Although still a drop in the bucket considering the average 17 million cars sold each year in the United States we can see a hyperbolic trend forming as oil prices stay high. Also with China and India entering the global game for demand for oil we will see the price per barrel to continue to remain high even if OPEC decides to stay on the same team, which built their industry there.
The Japanese are now showcasing their technologies in medium sized trucks. In fact Hino Motors, which makes the very popular box type delivery trucks you see around town is now making a diesel electric version to be available in the 2006 models in the US. They have been available in Japan since 2003. The unit is called the Hino 165 Hybrid; pictured here:
The price is still a little steep at $116,000 per truck which is just over two times the cost, but Hino a spokesman said in Transport Topics that in fact the fuel savings over a three year period would cover the additional costs and the Public Relations for companies and the tax incentives in states like MA, CA and NY would more than entice buyers to switch over. The fuel saving is a solid 14 to 27% over the conventional models like the Isuzu and other competing trucks like the one pictured here;
Hino of North America is convinced that buyers will put up the extra money for the new hybrids and many government agencies are already trying to order them. Meanwhile waiting lists at some fleet dealership locations are not forming. Think on this.