With the world’s toughest diesel emissions regulations looming, Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd. Has begun marketing small hybrid trucks that combine a diesel engine and an electric motor for greater fuel efficiency. Based on the General Motors Corp. technology, with which Isuzu maintains business ties, the new trucks reportedly run on 10-20% less diesel fuel while emitting a smaller amount of carbon dioxide than ordinary diesel trucks, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun newspaper in Japan.
The new Isuzu model will officially debut in the market sometime in June, officials said, though Isuzu has begun to supply some units to trucking companies. Called the “ELF Diesel Hybrid,” the truck has a maximum load capacity of 2 tons and obtains electricity from long-life lithium batteries. It also has a specially designed transmission to convey engine power to the wheels.