As part of a commitment to raising awareness amongst public servants and politicians of the various ‘green’ initiatives being offered by truck and related component manufacturers, the Truck Industry Council (TIC) recently hosted a seminar on hybrid technologies for today’s trucks at Parliament House in Canberra.
Presentations were given by local representatives of Hino, Fuso, Eaton and Volvo, each of whom espoused the undeniable environmental benefits of their respective hybrid systems, while conceding the main stumbling block to broader uptake in this country is the additional cost of hybrid vehicles over their conventionally powered counterparts.
Hino’s Steve Lotter pointed to the company’s experience in its domestic market where the hybrid 300-series light truck has achieved exponential sales growth since 2004. “In Japan, as in Australia, Hino’s hybrid premium is around $10,000 or 20 percent more than a standard diesel model. However, Japanese government assistance in the form of rebates and tax concessions has reduced that premium by approximately 50 per cent.”
In response, general manager of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Mark Durrant, inferred that collaboration between car and truck component manufacturers could be the key to financial assistance. “The adaptation of these new technologies for use in passenger cars is something Minister Carr is very interested in,” he said. “For example, if a partnership between component manufacturers from both car and truck industries produced a new piece of technology to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, that technology may be eligible for assistance.”