Monday, May 26, 2008

Toyota and Hino come together to develope dual-mode vehicles (DMV)

Japan's top car maker Toyota Motor Corporation (TYO: 7203) and its truck-making subsidiary company Hino Motors Ltd. (TYO:7205) have come together to develop an environment friendly vehicle that will run both on rails and roads.

According to a Hino spokesperson, this new model was originally created by railway operator JR Hokkaido Railway Co. The two companies are working on the front part of the vehicle to enable it to carry upto 25 people. The railway firm developed several prototypes and began test drive. AFP reports:

The operator, which operates railways in the nation's northern island of Hokkaido, has developed the vehicle as part of its effort to utilise railways now out of service due to a sharp decline in passengers in the region.

The vehicle has eight wheels -- four iron wheels for railways and four rubber tyres for roads -- and is powered by a diesel engine. It is said to burn only one fourth of the fuel of conventional diesel-powered cars.

"Our contribution is expected to be another step toward more practical use of the dual mode vehicle," said Kenichiro Baba, a Hino spokesman.

Hokkaido Railway Co., operator of railways in the northern island of Hokkaido developed the vehicle as part of its effort to utilize the out of service railways in the region. The eight wheeled vehicle is powered by a diesel engine that burns only one fourth of the conventional diesel-powered cars.

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