Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) has announced it will launch the world’s first internal combustion hybrid lift truck. TICO will begin sales of
Toyota diesel hybrid forklifts to the Japanese market in December 2009.
Drawing on the Toyota Group’s leadership and innovation in hybrid technology, the ground-breaking new ‘GENEO-HYBRID’ 3.5 tonne
counterbalanced forklift combines a 2.5-litre diesel engine, electric motor and nickel-hydride battery to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in
half while delivering excellent operational performance.
As businesses look to reduce fuel costs and decrease CO2 emissions, Toyota Hybrid technology offers a practical, proven solution by capitalising
on the advantages of existing fuel sources and infrastructure. The new GENEO-HYBRID will cut CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by 50%
while delivering the operational performance of an equivalent conventional diesel-powered forklift. The result is a lift truck that provides both
improved environmental performance and economic benefits for customers due to lower fuel costs.
In line with its environmental commitment and philosophy of continuous improvement (kaizen), Toyota is exploring a range of technologies using
existing fuels as well as alternative energy sources to meet evolving industry needs over the short, medium and long term.
Powered by highly efficient Toyota hybrid technology, the GENEO-HYBRID combines a Series Hybrid System for driving and a Parallel Hybrid
System for load handling. With the Series Hybrid System, the forklift 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, making it an ideal solution for multi-shift operations. The truck’s power efficiency is further boosted by
the integrated use of regenerated energy recovered when the accelerator is released and when changing the direction of travel.
Developed and manufactured in Japan, the GENEO-HYBRID truck will be launched to the Japanese market first, allowing TICO engineers to be
close to hybrid truck customers during rollout of this leading-edge technology. The timeline for launching Toyota hybrid forklifts outside of Japan
is not yet communicated.
For more than a decade, Toyota Hybrid technology has set the industry standard, with the Toyota Prius making history as the world’s first mass-
produced hybrid car. Since the Prius was launched in Japan in 1997 and in Europe and the USA in 2000, more than 1.7 million Toyota hybrids
have been sold worldwide.
Mike Mathias, managing director of Toyota Material Handling UK said: "The Toyota Group has established itself as both the pioneer and leader in
hybrid technology. We see the new Toyota hybrid forklifts as an exciting step for our industry and further proof of Toyota’s commitment to
offering our customers leading-edge products, services and solutions, supported by the latest technological innovations."