Mitsui & Co Ltd (Mitsui), Medini Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd (MIM), Hino Motor Sales (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (Hino) and Handal Indah Sdn Bhd (Handal Indah) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to bring to Medini City the first hybrid bus in Malaysia.
The culmination of efforts between the four parties was made possible when Mitsui and MIM invited HINO to conduct its trial run, which will go on for five months starting this July, through Medini City where the bus will be operated by Handal Indah.
There will be six routes for the trial run, one of it is the Iskandar Puteri route that allows commuters to travel from Puteri Harbour Ferry Terminal to Larkin Sentral via Medini.
The signing of the MoU is in line with Iskandar Malaysia’s Low Carbon Society Blueprint, where it aims to reduce carbon intensity in Iskandar Malaysia by 58% by 2025.
The introduction of hybrid buses could potentially be part of a future modern fleet of public transportation in Iskandar Malaysia, where they can offer economical and clean public transport system.
“A big part of Iskandar Malaysia’s journey towards becoming a Strong and Sustainable Metropolis of International Standing focuses on green environment and smart city living; we embrace ideas and initiatives that contribute towards these two agendas.
“As such, the possibility of having hybrid buses transporting people across the region is something very exciting and inspiring,” said Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim.
Medini City, the Central Business District of Iskandar Puteri, is a catalytic development within Iskandar Malaysia led by MIM.
With its vision of becoming the Icon of Future City Living, Medini is paving its way as a smart city development.
“Medini City will ultimately produce a smart and sustainable community where residents, visitors and investors alike can experience a place that is uniquely liveable, connected, efficient and safe.
“By delivering smart solutions like the hybrid bus initiative, we look forward to seeing local bus operators including hybrid bus models in their fleet,” said MIM managing director and chief executive officer Dr James Tee.
Hino’s hybrid bus is powered by a Euro 3 engine, and promises to improve fuel efficiency with the combination of diesel engine and battery in the company’s new HV system, as well as reduce CO2 emission.
Designed with wider air suspension for extra riding comfort, the bus features a low-floor designed chassis, with flexibility for special needs and is able to cater to a capacity of up to 75 including standing passengers.
Hino managing director Ken Iwamoto said the bus has advantages for smart city projects, and that unique aspects of commercial vehicles include their comparatively large size and loading capacity, the long distances they travel, and their wide array of uses and places where they are used.
“Taking into account these varying conditions, Hino Motors considers types of environmental technologies that would be suitable.
“By providing users with optimally equipped vehicles, we believe the Hino Hybrid Bus has the advantage in providing a vehicle with improved fuel-efficiency and zero carbon,” he said.
Meanwhile, Handal Indah managing director Lim Chern Fang said its role is to provide the most efficient, reliable and friendly bus service to commuters.
“We embrace change by constantly assessing and improving the public bus service with the new technology.
“We are keen to move towards a smart transportation to introduce a cleaner and more fuel-efficient means of urban transportation for the commuters and benefiting the community at large,” she said.