Hino’s Three New Tokyo Motor Show Concept Buses

Hino has announced three innovative concept buses that will be on display at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. They consist of a down-sized version of the low-floor poncho bus, a plug-in hybrid version of the Hino Melpha, and a new S’elega tour bus that focuses on new safety features.

Hino Poncho Mini

As the name suggests, the Poncho Mini is a smaller version of the 7m x 2m Hino Poncho, which was displayed at the 2013 Australian Bus and Coach Show. The Mini measures just 4.9m x 1.89m, and has a seating capacity of 11 instead of the original’s 18.


In contrast to the Poncho, the Mini is exclusively available with an electric engine. Other than the obvious environmental advantage that this provides, Hino claim that it also allows for greater interior space than was previously possible.

This is achieved by foregoing the need for traditional engine and drivetrain components and distributing battery packs evenly along the bus chassis. Hino claim that "This also allows for a low, no-step floor, enabling wheelchairs, mobility vehicles and strollers to easily board and disembark - a feature absent on current, diesel-powered buses."

Hino Hybrid Melpha

The Hino Melpha is another bus that was on display at the Australian Bus and Coach Show that is set to appear at the Tokyo Motor Show, this time with the Hybrid engine treatment. The hybrid Melpha that will be on display will be a specialised vehicle, designed to operate as a mobile health clinic with the capability of being charged externally.

HINO+Melpha +Plugin +HV_rev .JPGhr

The added advantage of the electric engine is that the bus can act as a diesel generator in emergency situations, which Hino says is capable of lighting a gymnasium for around 30 hours on a full (100 litre) tank of diesel.

Under normal operation, the electric engine is designed to be used for short distance and urban trips, whilst the diesel mode handles long trips and climbing.

At 8.9m x 2.3m, the Hybrid Melpha is roughly the same size as the original Melpha.

Hino S’elega Tour Bus

The third and final bus that Hino will show in Tokyo is the Hino S’elega, a large tour bus that features cutting-edge safety systems.

HINO+Celega .JPGhr

The S’elega’s pre-crash safety systems constantly monitors driver awareness by detecting body language, ensuring that the driver is alerted if their attention strays from the task at hand. It also features a damage-mitigating brake system, designed to slow the vehicle down in the seconds before a rear-end collision. Further, it has a lane-departure warning, which does what you would expect.  

The 2013 Tokyo Motor Show runs from November 20 to December 1.

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