Hino has announced a new electric version of its quirky shuttle bus concept, the Poncho , with the launch of the Z EV light-duty electric Poncho bus set for mid-2022 in Japan.

Hino says the Poncho light-duty low floor non-step diesel bus launched in 2002 has been widely adopted throughout Japan for community transportation purposes, and is a popular choice in Australia with on-demand services.

The company says the Poncho Z EV retains the features of the diesel Poncho, including design that makes it user-friendly for everyone, and provides cleaner transportation through electrification.

The Poncho’s large full-flat area and low floor non-step structure enable easier boarding and moving inside the bus, has made it a user-friendly option for all passengers, including users of wheelchairs and prams.

The new battery EV version of the Poncho has all of the appealing features of the diesel Poncho including its  simple rounded exterior, while also delivering zero-emission and low-noise, making it a strong choice for urban communities.

The Poncho is also agile for manoeuvring through narrow city streets and provides a cruising range sufficient for a community bus, making it a very practical option.

Hino says that in Japan, this model will also be included in the line-up of vehicles for the  CUBE-LINX joint venture, which was established in May 2021 by Hino Motors. and Kansai Electric Power Company aimed at providing solutions to issues in ‘e-mobility adoption and operation, as a vehicle to be used by e-mobility optimised operation management businesses’.

It offers packaged solutions with EVs, charging facilities, IT systems, and operation according to user needs for a monthly fee.

Hino has declared its initiatives to achieve zero environmental impact as part of its Hino Environmental Challenge 2050 issued in 2017.

Hino says it is accelerating its efforts, and, in April 2021, it established mid-term targets in its Hino Environmental Milestone 2030.

The company says to achieve carbon neutrality, it is pursuing all possible measures, not only for its own products but also in a wide range of strategies based on a life cycle assessment of vehicles from production to disposal.

The Hino Poncho Z EV, along with the solutions from CUBE-LINX, will contribute to reducing COemissions by promoting the widespread use of electric vehicles.

Hino says it will continue to pursue a variety of measures from the perspectives of customers and society, including greater use of e-mobility as a useful solution for businessesINO