Hino Motors, the Toyota-owned global manufacturer of trucks and light commercial vehicles in the Asian region, has outlined six key environmental challenges it aims to tackle as part of a long-term Hino Environmental Challenge 2050 initiative. The initiative will notably consider “changes over the entire maturation” of products, or as Hino President and CEO Yoshio Shimo wrote, how to fully reduce products’ environmental impact over their lifespan.
A “Massive” Challenge
In detailing the initiative, Hino notes that environmental responsibility is a “massive” challenge the entire transport industry is facing. Vehicle manufacturers are seeking to produce more efficient vehicles in response, Hino says, although “at times, ahead of the pace of the supporting infrastructure.” The Australian Trucking Association (ATA), for example, encourages companies to adopt environmental best practices, assume environmental responsibilities, and seek to improve current performance, but “best practices can be outpaced by innovations and community expectations,” Hino says. As such, Hino says continuous ongoing review and improvements are key.
The six challenges Hino is targeting include:
• Reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 90 percent, including by continuing to evolve existing technologies and developing such next-gen products as lower-emission diesel, plug-in hybrid, and electric and fuel-cell vehicles
• Generating zero carbon-dioxide emissions during a product’s entire lifecycle
• Factories to produce zero carbon-dioxide emissions
• Minimising water usage and thoroughly purifying wastewater
• Contributing to sustainable resource usage and achieving zero waste
• Creating a future society “in harmony with nature by focusing on the conservation of biodiversity and protection of all species
As an example of what manufacturers are now facing, Hino points to its Hino 300 Series Hybrid commercial light-duty truck, billed as the best-selling diesel-electric commercial vehicle in Australia. In terms of future model planning, Hino says specific issues currently exist in Australia concerning electrification infrastructure availability and the environmental impact of current forms of electricity generation.
Bill Gillespie, Hino Australia general manager of brand and franchise development, says while there’s considerable talk about electrification in the marketplace, “there is zero infrastructure in Australia to support electrification of almost anything, including cars, certainly not trucks, and certainly not long-haul trucks.” Another issue, he says, is there are zero federal or state governmental incentives to support electric vehicles or alternate fuel vehicles.
The Entire Lifecycle
Gillespie says other challenges concerning electricity sources in Australia relate to plug-in vehicles. “When you look at brown coal electricity, frankly that is dirty fuel in my view, and in a lot of other people’s view,” he says. “We don’t have many alternatives for that in this country, either, so we’re yet to be convinced.” While electric vehicles remain part of Hino’s global thinking, Gillespie doesn’t believe “people have done the right cradle-to-grave calculations locally” concerning them.
Moving forward, Shimo says to become an “environmentally advanced company” Hino will work to “revolutionize logistics through the technical innovation of products, manufacturing innovation at production sites, and IoT [internet of things] technologies.”
Hino Challenge 1: Hino Motors, the Japan-based manufacturer of trucks, light commercial, and other vehicles, recently outlined a Hino Environmental Challenge 2050 initiative the company is embarking on to consider the environmental impact of its products over their entire lifespan, from manufacturing to disposal. (Image courtesy of Hino.)
Hino Challenge: As part of its Hino Environmental Challenge 2050 initiative, Hino will target six environmental challenges it will continuously review in order to “make the world a better place to live and to connect the next generation with the future.” Among these challenges is reducing carbon-dioxide emissions of Hino products by 90 percent. (Image courtesy of Hino.)