Browsing Archive June, 2019

ISUZU Launches New Truck Range With ‘Smoother’ Gears

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Isuzu Malaysia has just launched it latest range of light trucks targeted for inner city deliveries, light cargo transportation, small business owners and also food truck operators. The added good news is that this new range of light trucks also include the popular ‘Smoother’ gearbox which is Isuzu’s very own auto gearbox system for light trucks.

The ‘Smoother’ gearbox offers the full benefits of an automatic transmission but with the reliability and low running cost akin to manual transmissions, “Smoother” offers a significant advantage as the gears are directly coupled thus do not suffer from energy loss through hydraulic slippage.

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Furthermore, Isuzu’s “Smoother” selects the most appropriate gear for the given driving condition. This ensures that the engine revolutions remain within its optimal range thus extending the life of the engine and drivetrain. On the “Smoother” models, there is even a secondary ECONO Mode that the driver can select to automatically change gears at lower engine revolutions, providing even greater fuel savings.

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Press Release: With the new range of ‘smarter’ delivery and working trucks, Isuzu Malaysia is poised to retain its position as Malaysia’s top truck brand following the showcase of its latest dependable and efficient Elf and Forward truck variants today.

The new trucks that will be available for sale from the third quarter of 2019 are expected to further increase the brand’s appeal, particularly in the light-duty segment where the Isuzu Elf models have enjoyed the title of Malaysia’s top-selling truck range for the last nine consecutive years.

Globally acknowledged by truck operators for its highly dependable performance with low running costs, the Isuzu Elf range is also one of the most versatile in the market with eleven variants of various tonnage and drivetrains available to suit the individual requirements of users.

Once the new 2019 line-up comes on stream, Isuzu Malaysia will offer 19 variants of the Elf covering 4-wheeler, 6-wheeler, 4×4 and Crew-Cab versions, giving it the widest range of light duty truck options in the market.

Of particular interest to businesses that operate their vehicles in frequent stop-start and congested urban environments will be the availability of selected truck models fitted with “Smoother”, a 6-speed Automated Manual Transmissions (AMTs) as factory variants.

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Although the initial purchase price of the “Smoother” models is higher, business owners are able to enjoy lower running costs as fluid coupling doesn’t cause wear and tear. It will also be easier to employ drivers as the pool of drivers who can handle manual transmissions is shrinking.  Drivers too will find the “Smoother” models a boon and less fatiguing, enabling them to better retain concentration throughout their workday.

With the proliferation of E-commerce, the new Isuzu Elf variants offer the perfect solution to the rising demand for dependable and efficient deliveries. The engines for “Smoother” models comply with the Euro 3 emission standards, ensuring the Elf remains efficient and environmentally friendly.

Isuzu Malaysia is also introducing three new crew cab variants to its 2019 line-up. With a total of four models in that segment, those in the service industry will find more flexibility to transport their manpower and goods efficiently and safely.

Unlike some retro-fitted after-market crew cabs that are prone to ill-fitment, Isuzu’s crew cabs are designed at Isuzu’s R&D centre employing the latest technologies, built and outfitted completely in the Isuzu factory thus come with full compliance to the highest ECE safety standards and enjoy the full Isuzu warranty.

Bigger and mightier Forward

The Isuzu Forward range, a favourite among long-haulers for its exemplary low-running cost, impressive maneuverability and highly-accommodating cabin will be further improved for 2019 with a beefier chassis and higher performance.

The FVR34 model will now come with a GVW of 19 tons, up from the current 18-ton capacity. This upgraded payload capacity not only allows owners to maximize each load thereby reducing their  transportation costs, the maneuverability of the Forward range makes it very ideal for intra-city hauling, eliminating the need to break bulk for urban pick-up and deliveries. The front axle capacity too has been significantly increased to 7,500kg contributing to its superior carrying capacity.

As complement to the increased payload, the nimble and flexible 6HK1-TC powerplant has now been tweaked to develop a very respectable 300PS of power with 986Nm of torque for the FVR300 model, giving it superior performance over all Malaysian road conditions, particularly over hilly terrain.

To capitalize on the improved performance of the FVR300 model, the range will now be paired to a new Eaton transmission. Using nine forward speeds including a ‘crawler’ gear for severe terrain, the new transmission’s ratios better match the engine’s improved performance characteristics, giving the FVR more flexible performance while the engine revolutions remain more frequently in its optimal zone.

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Isuzu Malaysia has chosen to retain the ever-popular FVR240 model in the line-up for those who require the large cargo capacity but haul less weighty bulk such as foodstuff or furniture or perform duties as council vehicles.

To retain a high level of safety, the FVR34 range now comes standard with full air brakes and Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS). Braking performance is significantly improved while the ABS system greatly assists in maintaining braking stability particularly on slippery surfaces.

Further upgrades to the Forward line-up include a larger capacity alternator that is able to better meet the power demands of high-amperage equipment.

The new 2019 range of Isuzu trucks will be available at all 43 authorised Isuzu truck outlets nationwide from third quarter of 2019. For further information on the how the range of Isuzu vehicles are able to enhance your business operations, visit isuzu.net.my or contact 1-800-88-1133 to have a sales engineer visit you to customize the most suitable Isuzu truck for your needs.

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ZF Develops Dual Lens Camera for Commercial Vehicles, To Be Launched in 2020

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ZF, the world’s leading supplier of automotive cameras, has developed the Dual-cam two lens camera specifically designed for the commercial truck market and to be used in concert with other ZF ADAS technologies.

Part of ZF’s S-Cam4 family of automotive grade cameras, the Dual-cam is designed to help meet varying global regulatory requirements and delivers advanced functions such as Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keeping Assist and Centering and object and pedestrian detection to enable Automatic Emergency Braking.

“To help ensure these technologies work effectively on commercial trucks a second lens is necessary for some of these advanced functions,” said Dan Williams, head of ADAS and autonomy for ZF Commercial truck applications. “For example, for pedestrian AEB in some instances a standard mono-camera with a 52-degree field can limit the ability to detect pedestrians or other vulnerable road users with enough time to actuate the brakes and help avoid or mitigate accidents for larger trucks in complex environments.”

Having a second lens also enables redundancy for Level2+ functions – if one lens becomes blinded or non-functional the second lens helps ensure the camera can still operate due to multiple optical paths.

ZF’s camera technologies feature best-in-class optical performance and an enhanced fusion envelope. When combined with a full suite of the company’s ADAS technologies such as forward looking and corner radar, automated functions such as lane change assist, and traffic jam assist are enabled. These functions can form the basis for technologies such as truck platooning to make long haul trucking safer and more efficient.

ZF has a long history of commercial truck ADAS supply for major European truck makers and will launch an advanced ADAS system for a major Japanese manufacturer in 2020. The launch will include ZF’s first application for its Image Processing Module where camera images will be processed in a separate unit from the camera housing.

With its SEE-THINK-ACT approach ZF is shaping advanced safety and autonomous driving in the commercial truck market with environmental sensor technologies that can “see” the surroundings, powerful processing units employing Artificial Intelligence such as ZF’s ProAI family of super computers that can “think” for the system and intelligent mechanical systems that can “act” to provide enhanced levels of vehicle control.

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Mitsubishi to launch Triton Absolute To Challenge Ford Raptor

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When Mitsubishi Motors first showed this Triton Absolute at the 2019 Bangkok International Motor Show in March this year, there were rumours circulating the internet that Mitsubishi product planners were teasing the market to see if there was enough interest in the ASEAN market for a super premium pickup truck.

Well, the response was good enough that now we hear that Mitsubishi Motors are putting into production this super truck to rival the best selling Ford Raptor.

Under the chunky hood of this new Triton will probably be the current Triton’s most potent engine which is a 2.4-liter turbocharged diesel with 180 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. We are sure Mitsubishi engineers will ‘massage its power output to better the Ford Ranger Raptor 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel with 210 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque.

Mitsubishi Motors already has this latest Triton running in a race series in Australia called ‘SuperUtes’ and so the tuning done on the SuperUte race Triton (pictured below) could be transferred to this new Triton Absolute with some limitations for warranty and reliability over 5 years.

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The Triton Absolute might use a tuned version of the stock 2.4-litre turbo-diesel engine, which retains its aluminium engine block and pistons but gains modifications such as uprated camshafts, a modified oil sump, larger injectors and larger fuel rails. The engine might also receive a larger GTurbo high-flow turbocharger, a larger intercooler, an upgraded radiator for additional cooling and a Motec engine management system. A bespoke Torqit three-inch exhaust system might round up the tune, while the manifold can be retained from the standard Triton.

Producing 344hp and 677Nm of torque, the racing version of the Mitsubishi Triton SuperUte can reach 100km/h from a standstill in under 3.5 seconds and drive up to a top speed in excess of 150mph. This of course is in race form and for the showroom version for added reliability and whilst keeping buyers happy, Mitsubishi could limit the tune to say, 250 hp and 550Nm of torque.

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Mercedes-Benz eCitaro, the electric bus for our cities

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It is locally emission-free and almost silent. It combines the tried and tested platform of the Mercedes-Benz urban bus with new technological solutions. The fully electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro brings electromobility for urban buses to a whole new level. The new eCitaro uses innovative components now available for the first time for the eCitaro to achieve a previously unknown degree of energy efficiency. The performance of the eCitaro meets most of the requirements of the transport companies even at launch. Plus, it is already prepared for the battery technology of the future. And its design allows the basic shape of the Citaro to merge with elements of the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus into a distinct visual appearance of its own. It’s more than an urban bus: Mercedes-Benz takes a holistic approach to electromobility and integrates the eCitaro into the overall eMobility system.

The eCitaro: world premiere in 2018, already a success

The eCitaro impresses with its performance and comes at precisely the right time. Although it only celebrated its world premiere last autumn at the International Commercial Vehicle Show, it is already out and about on the roads of Hamburg, Berlin, Mannheim and Heidelberg. Mercedes-Benz recently received a major order for 56 eCitaro vehicles from Wiesbaden. It is the largest single order ever received in Germany for all-electric buses. Mercedes‑Benz is optimistic that further successes will follow soon. A fleet of demonstration buses which is currently showing the eCitaro’s qualities to transport companies on-location in Europe will play a part in this.

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The tailor-made exclusive exterior of the eCitaro

The eCitaro benefits from the platform of the best-selling Citaro with more than 50,000 units sold all over the world. The eCitaro is a true Citaro – but a very special one; because its unique characteristics match its equally unique design.

This is already evident in the face of the eCitaro. Its centre-point is formed by the Mercedes star. Decorative elements emanate from the star, to the left and right. The model insignia with its blue letter “e” discreetly and yet unmistakably indicates the fully electric drive technology. The bumper and the model-specific three-dimensional A0 pillars neatly frame the face of the eCitaro. Another feature of the urban bus is the curve of its windscreen with the integrated destination display. Visually, the windscreen smoothly transitions into the roof with dark bars on the left and right.

The roof-mounted equipment on the eCitaro is concealed behind an elegant roof-edge ridge made of a multi-piece extruded aluminium section. The glossy black lower segment extends the generous side-window glazing of the urban bus. The upper segment is painted in the vehicle colour. These optical tricks lend the eCitaro perfect proportions.

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A fusion of elegant and at the same time practical design

Overall, the eCitaro sports a solid appearance with clearly drawn contours and no showmanship whatsoever. At the same time, the new eCitaro is a truly practical bus. The eCitaro adopts the structure of the current model unchanged – a crucial factor in facilitating the repair of accident damage, for example. The curved windscreen comes from the Citaro Ü and is thus a common spare part. The roof-edge ridge at the sides is not only a two-part design, it is also segmented.

Interior: new coffered ceiling with high-tech lighting

In the passenger compartment, the eCitaro rings in a general update of the interior concerning the entire Citaro family. A stand-out feature in the interior is the coffered design ceiling above the centre aisle and the sweeping roof-edge flaps. They hide a new air circulation system with textile ducts in place of the current plastic air ducts. They are even easier and simpler to install.

The technology modules, as connectors between the individual elements of the coffered ceiling, are particularly noteworthy. They combine the interior lights and the loudspeakers in one element. In line with this step, the interior lights have also been switched over to LED technology as standard. The lighting is ingenious: the light of the LED lamps is refracted in a way to make the technology modules appear to the observer as one homogeneous light panel.

Another new feature is the black trim on the sills and window posts. As a result, the window posts stand out less, soothing the appearance of the side walls.

Proven electric axle, now up to twelve battery modules

The powertrain of the new eCitaro is based on the proven and optimised ZF AVE 130 electric portal axle with electric motors at the wheel hubs. The peak output of the motors is 2 x 125 kW, while torque is 2 x 485 Nm. It is an inherent feature of such motors that this is fully available right from the start, ensuring appropriate dynamic performance even with a full complement of passengers.

Lithium-ion batteries supply the power. New: their total capacity is as high as 292 kWh. Background information: The batteries are now split between as many as twelve modules, instead of the initial ten, each supplying around 25 kWh. The basic equipment sees two battery modules on the vehicle roof plus four fitted at the rear. Depending on customer requirements, up to six further battery modules are mounted on the roof of the eCitaro.

With the full complement of twelve batteries, the eCitaro as a two-door model with standard equipment weighs around 14.1 tonnes with a permissible gross vehicle weight of 19.5 tonnes. This corresponds to seats for around 80 passengers – very practicable during rush hour.

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Flexible charging technology: Charging at the depot as standard, optional current collector

The eCitaro’s charging technology also allows it to adjust to the individual wishes and requirements of the transport operators. For the start of series production, plug-in charging is envisaged. To this end, the urban bus features a socket for a Combo 2 plug above the front wheel arch on the right-hand side of the vehicle in the direction of travel.

If intermediate charging is required to extend the range, there will in future also be an option to charge the eCitaro via a current collector on the roof. This option will be gradually phased in, once series production has started. There will be two possible variants: In phase 1, an integral current collector (pantograph) on the roof; in phase 2, charging rails on the roof that will allow charging via a stationary current collector at a charging station.

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Thermal management: new methods for heating and air conditioning

However, the battery capacity alone provides little indication of the actual performance capability and, above all, the range of an all-electric urban bus – the true measure is that of energy consumption. In the case of an urban bus, this is impacted significantly by climatic conditions and the need to cool and, above all, to heat the interior.

At an outside temperature of minus ten degrees Celsius, the energy consumption of an urban bus doubles compared to journeys where no heating is required. Therefore the engineers have carefully considered the issue of thermal management. Compared with the current Citaro with a combustion engine, the energy requirement for heating, ventilation and climate control has been reduced by about 40 percent. This exceptional energy efficiency provides the basis for the eCitaro’s practical operating range even under unfavourable conditions. This is accomplished with the use of innovative components that only reached market readiness in line with the eCitaro.

Heating featuring heat pump, networking of components

In the first instance, Mercedes-Benz cools the batteries to ensure that they remain at the ideal temperature, thereby ensuring maximum charging capacity, performance capability, and service life. At extreme outside temperatures, the passenger-compartment climate control system is used to boost the cooling of the batteries.

The passenger compartment of the eCitaro is heated in an energy-efficient manner by a heat pump. Even temperature distribution is ensured by using the familiar sidewall fan heaters. The conventional heater at the front is equipped with a double heat exchanger.

All components that give off heat are linked together, to keep the amount of energy required for their cooling to a minimum. Since the human body also gives off heat, the heating on a bus carrying a full complement of passengers can be turned down earlier. Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz varies the output of the heating and climate control systems according to the number of passengers.

During the colder months, the roof-mounted air conditioning system is additionally used as a heat pump, ensuring effective and efficient climate control for the passenger compartment. The use of CO2 as a coolant brings further benefits. The particularly efficient use of the heat pump is impressive, even at very cold temperatures.

Another advantage: While the batteries are being charged in the depot, the vehicle interior can be pre-conditioned and even over-conditioned to the desired temperature. The bus will therefore have been heated or cooled to suit the seasonal conditions before it sets off.

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Practical range even in tough conditions

Operating range figures for all-electric-powered urban buses are often difficult to compare. Mercedes-Benz prefers to consider a “worst-case scenario” and therefore takes its direction from the challenging standardised city driving cycle known as SORT 2 and includes the energy requirements of the auxiliary consumers in its calculations. According to this, the Citaro achieves an operating range of around 170 kilometres in summer. This means that even without intermediate charging, the eCitaro already covers about one third of all routes. Under ideal conditions, the eCitaro even drives around 280 km without intermediate charging.

Driver’s area: familiar cockpit with a power meter in place of a rev counter

Benefit for the eCitaro driver: cockpit and operating concept of the urban bus are largely unchanged – except that a power meter now replaces the rev counter. It displays the current power demand and/or energy recuperation rate. The driver also receives information about the charge status of the batteries. He or she can access the range, available power and a charging indicator on the central display.

In general, the performance is optimised for maximum efficiency, without the driver having to deal with major differences from the Citaro with combustion engine. For example, in the basic setting, the bus coasts in an energy-efficient manner when the driver takes her/ his foot off the accelerator pedal – it “glides”. Alternatively, the driver can use a multi-stage electric brake lever to set a basic deceleration rate – similar to the engine braking torque or the retarder effect of a diesel bus – as the energy recovery rate.

The future is electric: launch of an innovation initiative

As the development of battery technology is progressing at a rapid pace, the eCitaro is already designed to be transitioned to the battery technology of the future. This concerns for example the lithium-ion batteries currently in use. As things currently stand, the next generation with a larger capacity and resulting increased range will already be available for customers of the eCitaro in 2021. With a total capacity of up to 330 kWh, the eCitaro will then cover about 50 percent of all applications.

Another step already scheduled for the coming year envisages the optional use of future lithium-polymer batteries, also referred to as solid-state batteries. With this new battery technology, the eCitaro once again takes on a leading role, and is even among the pioneers in automotive construction. Solid state batteries are characterised by a particularly long service life and high energy density. With a nominal battery capacity of up to 441 kWh, the eCitaro would then be able to cover around 70 percent of all requirements without the need for intermediary charging. As a solobus, even when faced with the difficult demands of using all-electric heating in the winter months, the eCitaro can still cover more than 200 km in accordance with the SORT 2 testing method. The characteristics of solid-state batteries differ significantly from NMC batteries (lithium-nickel-manganese-cobalt-oxide cells): They have a different shape, are more voluminous overall and are not suitable for quick-charging. Urban buses equipped with them are therefore suitable for other types of application. For this reason, the eCitaro will in future be offered with a choice of NMC or solid‑state batteries.

Subsequently, the range of the eCitaro will be increased yet again by a range extender in the form of a fuel cell for generating electricity. It will be designed to allow the eCitaro to fulfil nearly 100 percent of all requirements on urban buses. This technology eliminates the need for intermediate charging and the complex infrastructure required for it in almost all cases: The eCitaro will be able to replace combustion engine-powered urban buses almost one to one.

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Volvo Receives Largest Ever Purchase of Euro 6 City Buses In Middle East

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Volvo Buses and Famco Al Futtaim Auto & Machinery Co (Famco) have been selected supplier of 373 city buses to Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). This is Volvo’s largest chassis order to date in Dubai, and the largest ever purchase of Euro VI city buses in the Middle East region.

The order for 373 chassis is the largest ever purchase of Euro VI city buses in the Middle East Region.
The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has ordered 373 city buses from Volvo and their local importer Famco. With this latest order, the Volvo bus fleet of Dubai RTA will amount to 571 vehicles. The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority is investing heavily in public transport, with the goal to make it the first choice for mobility in Dubai. The number of buses in the emirate will increase by nearly 30% from 2018 to 2020.

The B8RLE Euro VI chassis will have a Sunsundegui SB3 body. These will be the first ever Euro VI city buses to operate in the region. Deliveries are planned for Q3 2019 to Q2 2020. The delivery includes a 10-year comprehensive maintenance contract that also covers tires and batteries.

“We are very proud and grateful for the confidence the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority once again places in Volvo Buses. This tender was evaluated based on a 10-year Total Cost of Ownership comparison, including fuel and operational costs, and Volvo came out as the most competitive alternative. The order is a recognition of the long term relationship we have built and the value we deliver to the RTA”, said Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Buses.

“The Euro VI Volvo B8RLE is a well proven platform and continues to set the industry standard for fuel efficiency, drivability and lifecycle costs,” he said.

The buses are designed to meet high demands on comfort and safety for passengers, drivers and road users. The standard equipment includes the Volvo electronic brakes and ESP (Electronic Stability Program). The buses will have the highest level of Intelligent Transport systems (ITS) for fleet tracking, as well as new age innovations like interactive screens.

The buses will also be fitted with modern driver assist and monitoring systems such as driver fatigue, driver RFID and the Volvo I-coaching package. Passengers will experience premium interiors with luxury ergonomic seats and comfort accessories like USB charging. The buses will be ITxPT compliant, a system that enables interoperability between IT systems in public transport.

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New Public Transport Self-Driving Bus From Scania

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Welcome to the NXT future! Scania’s new battery electric self-driving urban concept vehicle is designed with the flexibility to shift from ferrying commuters to and from work in mornings and evenings, delivering goods during the day and collecting refuse at night.

In a bold display of innovation, Scania’s engineers have taken the company’s DNA – the modular system – to the next level in developing a concept vehicle that can change shape for varying urban assignments.

Countless cities are now catalysing change in urban transport, driven by the need for lower emissions and less congestion. Technological and infrastructural advances in electric and autonomous vehicles will be key enablers for cities when shifting to a sustainable transport system.

“NXT is a vision of the future for transport in cities. Several of these technologies have yet to fully mature but for us it’s been important to actually build a concept vehicle to visibly and technically demonstrate ideas of what is within reach,” says Scania’s President and CEO Henrik Henriksson. “NXT is designed for 2030 and beyond while incorporating several cutting-edge features that are already available.”

The eight-metre-long bus module is built as one composite unit, substantially reducing weight. The cylindrical cell batteries are placed under the floor, thereby utilising otherwise dead space as well as contributing to better weight distribution. With the low vehicle weight of less than eight tonnes, the range with present-day batteries is estimated at 245 kilometres.

“Continuous improvement in small steps has been the hallmark of Scania,” says Sjödin. “We are now taking a giant leap into the future. This vehicle will provide invaluable tangible data in our continued development of electrified autonomous vehicles.”

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No heavy vehicles allowed on PLUS highway effective NOW!

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The Ministry of Transport Malaysia has just put in effect a ban on all heavy vehicles from using the PLUS highway which connects north to south Malaysia. This is really good news for car, mpv, suv and pickup truck drivers returning home after the festivities as heavy vehicles can cause more traffic issues.

It is however bad news for truck drivers needing to do their job to send goods/food around the country and also cross border. They are going to have a tough time with Cold Transfers and also perishable items that need to reach supermarkets and family shops around the country.

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Press Release: HEAVY VEHICLES BANNED FROM ENTERING PLUS HIGHWAY TODAY AND TOMORROW TO EASE TRAFFIC FLOW

Petaling Jaya, Saturday, 8 June 2019: – PLUS Malaysia Bhd (PLUS) confirms that the Ministry of Transport ban on all heavy vehicles at highways will take effect today (8/6) & tomorrow (9/6).

“We hope that this will ease some traffic congestion especially the climbing areas,” said PLUS Chief Operating Officer, Zakaria Ahmad Zabidi.

“Traffic from the North towards Kuala Lumpur is slow moving along the Seberang Perai area, from Taiping to Changkat Jering and the climbing area of the Menora Tunnel heading to Ipoh.Along the Gua Tempurung climbing area, from Tapah to Sungkai and Bukit Tagar to Sungai Buaya, traffic is also slow moving. While in the South, traffic traveling up to Kuala Lumpur is also slow moving along Sedenak, Senai and Simpang Renggam towards Ayer Hitam; including the Pedas Linggi climbing area toward Port Dickson,” he added.

PLUS advises its customers to have a good rest while driving along its highway by taking 2 hourly intermittent breaks at its Rest & Service Areas (RSA) and laybys; including its Toll Plazas, which provides comfortable suraus for prayer and clean toilets to refresh.

Zakaria also re-emphasized the importance for motorcyclists to ride safely on their journey back to Kuala Lumpur, as the death toll of motorcyclists on PLUS highways is alarmingly high as compared to other vehicles.

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David Yarrow Uses The NEW Land Rover Defender In Africa

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World-famous fine art photographer David Yarrow has teamed up with Land Rover in support of Tusk to raise awareness of declining lion numbers in Africa by capturing a set of stunning wildlife images.

Tusk has designated 2019 as its Year of the Lion to bring the issue of threatened lion populations to the top of the conservation agenda. To support the initiative, Land Rover sent a prototype of the new Defender 4×4, which will make its world premiere later this year, to the Borana Conservancy in Laikipia, in northern Kenya, to help support lion tracking and monitoring operations.

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The new 4×4 promises to bring an unparalleled breadth of capability and new levels of comfort and driveability to the Defender family and was tested by expert wildlife managers performing a series of real-world activities in Borana. Land Rover’s link to East Africa stretches back to 1948, when some of the first 48 pre-production Series models were tested in the region.

Yarrow was on hand to capture a series of images as the new Defender, wearing a specially devised camouflage, was put to work locating a pride of lions. There are currently fewer than 20,000 African lions remaining in the wild, compared with 25,000 rhinos (20,000 white rhinos and 5,000 black rhinos), and three-quarters of African lion populations are in decline.

David Yarrow, leading fine art photographer, said: “Wildlife photography is all about access – about getting yourself in the best position – so you need a vehicle that can reach inaccessible places. Defender has been synonymous with adventure and conservation since the first Land Rover debuted in 1948, so it’s fitting that one of the first official tasks for New Defender has been to shine a light on the dangers faced by lions in Africa.”

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The unique program in Kenya gave Tusk-supported wildlife managers a chance to test the new Defender in real-world scenarios across the 14,000-hectare conservancy in day to day operations, including a darting exercise to help replace an old tracking collar fitted to a male lion. The lion was sedated at close range from the security of the specially camouflaged new Defender prototype.

Charles Mayhew MBE, Chief Executive, Tusk, said: “This year marks Tusk’s Year of the Lion. Our aim is to raise awareness of the alarming decline in lion populations across Africa. Fortunately, within the Borana Conservancy, there are a number of prides of lion and tracking and monitoring their movements across this vast and tough environment is vital in order to protect them and reduce any conflict with neighbouring communities. The new Defender took everything in its stride, from deep river wading to climbing rocky trails.”

Supported by Tusk, the Borana Conservancy works in a number of strategic areas including supporting communities, environmental education, habitat protection, saving endangered species and ensuring human-wildlife co-existence is achievable. The reserve is home to some of the most vulnerable species in the world with elephants, black rhinoceros, African wild dogs and Grevy’s zebras sharing the reserve alongside lions and other large predators.

The initiative was supported by Jaguar Land Rover’s worldwide logistical partner and supporter of Tusk, DHL.

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Former DRB-Hicom Automotive Head Remanded By MACC  

Deftech_av8 gempita

The hottest news in the Malaysian automotive circle this past few days has been the arrest of a high ranking DRB-Hicom Berhad executive on corruption charges. Why is this news heating up the automotive circle? Well, MACC has remanded a 53-year-old DRB-Hicom chief executive officer with the title ‘Datuk’ and a 45-year-old chief financial officer (CFO) on graft allegations. This CEO used to be heading a DRB-Hicom automotive division and he was then a well respected person among the automotive community.

DRB-Hicom, the company has confirmed that the MACC has remanded two top executives of its wholly-owned subsidiary DRB-Hicom Bhd Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd (Deftech), in connection with a graft probe on an RM17mil defence contract.

Both persons are suspected to have received bribes amounting to hundreds of thousands of Ringgit from several companies for the supply of equipment for the AV8 Gempita and ACV 300 Adnan armored carrier vehicles between 2015 and 2017.

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The arrests have seen DRB-Hicom shares falls 4.98% after the two execs were remanded.

AV8 Gempita Details :

The AV8 Gempita is the latest generation of 8×8 armoured vehicle personnel carrier for Malaysian armed forces. The Deftech AV8 is a new generation of Armoured Wheeled Vehicles with special emphasis on mobility, protection, payload and growth potential. Latest designs and technology from the commercial automotive industries which have been militarized to meet the performance and durability of modern military operational requirements.

In June 2011, the Turkish Company FNSS has signed a ‘letter of offer and acceptance’ by DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies (Deftech) for the design, development and manufacture of the vehicles. The AV8 vehicle selected by the Malaysian military is based on the FNSS-designed PARS 8×8 multi-purpose, multi-mission, wheeled armored vehicle. The contract includes technology transfer arrangements to Deftech and logistics support for the Malaysian army, positioning the vehicle and its 12 variants to become Malaysia’s first indigenous family of 8×8 armored wheeled vehicles.

 

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