Toyota Industries Corp. (TICO) will begin selling an internal-combustion hybrid lift truck in Japan in December. This is believed to be the first commercially available hybrid of its kind. There's no word yet on when Toyota's U.S. material handling subsidiary, Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU), will make the vehicle available to the North American market.
The new lift truck, to be known as the Geneo-Hybrid, will be an 8,000-pound counterbalanced vehicle combining a 2.5-liter diesel engine with an electric motor and nickel-metal hydride battery. The new hybrid reportedly delivers the same operational performance as a conventional diesel-powered lift truck while producing half the CO2 emissions and consuming half as much fuel.
The Geneo-Hybrid combines a Series Hybrid System for driving with a Parallel Hybrid System for load handling. With the Series Hybrid System, the lift truck's drive motor runs on electric energy from the engine-powered generator and battery. Load handling functions are powered by a Parallel Hybrid System with a hydraulic pump that receives mechanical energy from the diesel engine and generator, and electric energy from the battery. The nickel hydride battery is recharged by the engine's operation and does not require plug-in recharging.