The 2013 Tokyo Motor Show has been and gone and there was plenty there to interest everyone … including commercial operators
Electric and hybrid vehicles were the theme for Hino at the show this year and one of the most interesting vehicles was the Hino Poncho Mini … a concept for an electrically powered small bus for congested urban areas.
This concept is a full electric vehicle with the battery packs fitted along the chassis so there’s no intrusion by the engine or transmission into the space available for passengers. This means that the Poncho Mini has a no-step flat floor and that makes this bus very easy to board … by everyone.
Hino is looking at hybrids as well and a plug-in hybrid version of its popular Melpha bus was on display too. There’s no doubt that as environmental issues become more important we’ll see more plug-in hybrids and electrically powered buses on our streets.
Hino had a third bus on display that doesn’t look all that much from the outside but it’s what is on the inside that makes this bus something special. This S’elega tour bus is fitted with what’s been missing from buses all over the world for far too long … advanced pre-crash safety systems.
This Hino S’elega tour bus is fitted with a system that monitors driver awareness and alerts drivers to dangerous situations such as unintended lane departures. A tired driver and a big bus drifting across lanes is not something you want to see and it’s time that this sort of safety equipment was standard in all tour buses.
And if you’re into BIG trucks then you wouldn’t have been disappointed with the Hino 700 series mining truck. Any truck that’s almost 10 metres long and has a gross vehicle mass of 50 tonnes is going to need a big engine to move it and the 700 Series truck is no exception.
The Hino 700 Series truck that was on display is powered by a 12.9-litre engine that produces 480 horsepower. To get all that power to the wheels Hino uses a 16-speed automated manual transmission.