Joylong’s electric commuter bus has just had its first independent road test, and the results are impressive. Truck journalist David Meredith ran his experienced eye over the Joylong E6 to examine its credentials.
In short, the bus was recognised as a solid, low maintenance, zero emissions solution to operators who want to “green” their fleet but maintain reliable high-frequency personnel transport in either city, regional or even outback applications.
Clearly the bus is not designed as an airport limo for small groups of executives, but as a comfortable, quiet and reliable commuter the Joylong is hard to beat in the all-electric or hybrid transport sector.
The E6 is configured to carry up to 14 people in spacious, air-conditioned comfort, with the potential for major savings in running costs and of course, zero running emissions.
The earlier generation Toyota HiAce base has a rock-solid reputation, with familiar ergonomics for the driver and passenger, and vision that some European vans have expanded on. The passenger compartment is well fit-out and comfortable, with sufficient room for most Aussie frames.
On a combination of city and suburban roads the Joylong E6 was reported to have handled impressively, even among the kind of city traffic that exercised the bus’s agility and responsiveness. Most impressive was the cruise at freeway speeds. On a 100km/h freeway, there was a stark difference from the market-leading HiAce, with no rumbling, diesel clatter or transmission hum. The rear-mounted motor was silent – none of the usual electric motor whining that is evident on most electric cars. It was clear that operators would be happy to do lots of kms in the Joylong. Also, the near-silent cruising allows the passengers to carry on conversations without raising their voices. A vast improvement on a diesel or petrol people carrier.
For the driver, the noise reduction adds to comfort, and the gauge on the right-hand side of the instrument panel displays the amperage in or out as well as the battery charge level. It is a far more practical driving tool than the video game displays on some other hybrids and electric vehicles that seem to compete for complexity. It recognises the actual drain or charge under different braking conditions and power demands. The central information display has an option for calibrating the regeneration rate and can deliver up to 160amps input at maximum.
The Joylong E6 features a 60kW motor and 86.1kW/h battery, both liquid cooled. Neither are in any way highly stressed, so the prospects of a lengthy and reliable ownership experience are promising.
Configured with 12 seats in the back there is plenty of room in Joylong’s 6-metre long commuter bus for a group of Aussie-sized adults. Industrial transport to work sites and the like are ideal applications for a bus that has clear Toyota body engineering links and a
driveline that is tailored to the task rather than cranked up for unnecessary high performance.
In summary, operators in the commercial and industrial sector would do well to drive the Joylong before re-committing to replacing a diesel bus with another diesel.
Web Site: joylongautomobiles .com.au
Telephone: 61 8 9351 9239
Mobile: 61 484 386 544