Lower emissions and reduced operating costs are attracting more buyers to Hino’s 300 Series Hybrid Electric truck model with more than 200 deliveries this year and an order bank of more than 100.

It represents a delivery increase of more than 400 per cent on 2022 and Hino said the interest was being driven by booming customer demand for lower-emission vehicles along with increased focus on business operations.

Hino Australia vice president of brand and franchise development, Richard Emery, said 2023 will be a record year for Hino’s hybrid electric trucks.

“This increase is particularly impressive considering the average deliveries over the last five years was 35 per year,” he said.

“The 300 Series Hybrid Electric has typically been purchased for freight and logistics applications, but recently new applications have emerged such as rental vehicles, infrastructure service bodies and the trade market, the new Built-to-Go range.”

Rental company Sixt has become the first Australian-wide multi-franchise rental business to purchase Hino’s Hybrid Electric trucks.

SIXT franchise owner Murari Rijal said the introduction of hybrid-electric trucks to his fleet brought “a positive impact on the environment and ensures cost savings for SIXT customers, especially during times of high-interest rates and cost-of-living pressures.”

Sixt’s head of product Ben Blackburn said: “I am excited to see the positive impact we are making on the environment, society, and the economy through our sustainable product offerings.

“SIXT’s journey to electrify our fleet is a testament to our commitment to innovation and sustainability, and it sets a high standard for our industry.”

The hybrid option is also being taken up by longstanding Hino customer PFD Food Services.

PFD Foods national fleet manager Steve Wright said: “PFD is excited to add a Hybrid Electric to our fleet – based on our location and operational requirements, we needed a vehicle with no range limitations, which is why the hybrid electric is the logical choice.

“It was an easy decision to combine reduced emissions with the excellent standard safety features of the Hino 300 Series.

“We will use telematics to track and record the fuel savings of the hybrid electric, and will therefore be able to calculate our immediate reduction in emissions.”

Mr Emery said the upsurge in enquiry and delivery of its hybrid-electric light-duty trucks has had a flow-on effect in other areas of the Hino business.

“The increased sales have driven a need for increased training for apprentice technicians – so far this year, we have delivered hybrid-electric vehicles to Sunraysia Institute of TAFE, TAFE SA and Shellharbour TAFE, and Hino Australia’s Hybrid Electric training program will soon be offered to TAFE trainers,” he said. 

“Similarly, Hino Australia has recently held specialised hybrid-electric training for Royans Transport Accident Repairs management team to allow their smash repairers to better understand the specific requirements of repairing Hybrid vehicles.

“Based on the positive feedback, we will be looking to roll this training out to their networks nationally,” he continued.

"The 300 Series Hybrid Electric provides a unique combination of Euro6 emissions compliance, lower operational costs and fuel and emission reductions without compromising operational range or payload.

“By delivering these advantages to market today, we are confident hybrid-electric sales will continue to increase over the coming 24 months.”

Mr Emery expects Hino to finish on similar sales levels to 2022, with some slowdown attributed to stock availability and logistics this year affecting deliveries. But he said orders remained very strong and that the after-sales side of the business continued to see significant growth.

“In 2023, we will again achieve record part sales, which has been made possible by the ongoing efforts of our dealer network and our state-of-the-art parts distribution centre which we opened during COVID lockdowns in 2021,” he said.

“Our service workshops and parts business are operating at record levels this year, and this has seen our dealer partners investing in greater capacity and resources to fulfil this growth, which is expected to continue into 2024.”

This is reflected by Hino Australia winning its 15th successive Parts Department of the Year Award and a 12th consecutive Service Department of the Year Award earlier in 2023.

He said 2024 would bring more hybrid-electric products with additional growth expected from Hino’s heavy-duty 700 Series.

 “Our current focus is to invest in and entrench a sustainable and robust business model that will perform regardless of any potential challenges,” he said.

“Together with our automotive business partners, we have invested over $45 million in the infrastructure and services to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations and requirements both now and in the future.”

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