Yesterday, Isuzu, along with Almazora, turned over 15 units of their class 2 PUVs to the Senate Employees Transport Service Cooperative or SETSCO. As the manufacturer mentioned, these PUVs are compliant with the parameters set by the LTFRB, meaning it follows dimension limitations, as well as Euro 4 compliance. So what exactly are the specs of the modern PUV?
For PUV duties, Isuzu uses the QKR77 truck, which is the smallest offering from their N-Series line. However, it's not as simple as tacking on a rear body and calling it a day. Under the Philippine National Standard Compliant for PUV bodies, the vehicles must be under 7,000 mm long and 2,350 mm wide. Side entry is also required.
With that, the Almazora Class 2 PUV measures in at 6,270 mm and 1,795 mm. With BluePower tech, the modern PUV follows Euro 4 standards. The 3.0-liter diesel, dubbed the 4JH1-TC, makes 106 PS and 230 Nm of torque. While the figures seem conservative, Isuzu says the engine has been tuned with durability and efficiency in mind. Also, that means these new PUVs are finally fuel-injected.
There is also a special feature found in the Isuzu-Almazora PUV which is actually mandated by the government. It's found under the chassis and that's the interchangeable battery and fuel tank location. According to Isuzu, the government requires this for pedestrian side door access.
Inside, there are two, wide angle CCTV cameras present. One is located near the driver and the other by the flanks, giving two different vantage points. The video feed is then displayed by the driver's center console, similar to an infotainment system. To keep passengers cool, there are two air-conditioning units; one at the front and one at the back.
Being a class 2 PUV, there are seats for 23 occupants plus a wide floor for standing room accommodations. PWD priority seats are located near the door, which is operated by the driver. Rails and handles ensure standing passengers have something to hold on to while in transit. Fare on the other hand is paid though Beep card. As required by the PUVMP, emergency window breakers and a fire extinguisher is fitted in the vehicle, so too is a reverse camera.
According to Isuzu, the unit that will be used by SETSCO costs Php 1,945,000 but it can be paid off by operators with the 5-6-7-8 scheme. will be required to pay 5-percent downpayment. Payments will be kept at a 6-percent interest rate, for as long as 7 years. As for the '8' in 5-6-7-8, the government will offer as high as an P80,000 subsidy per unit.
With that, Isuzu says that, along with the fares, another source of income for the operators will be through ad revenue. Two screens inside the PUV are there for digital ads, and there's also an LED board outside to show more advertisements. The same screen also shows the route the vehicle is taking. Isuzu mentioned that, according to the operators they spoke to, the unit will break even in about three to five years.