By Jessica DeLucaTamanu is one of several Japanese companies hoping to capitalize on a growing market for buses.
The company is trying to create a new brand for its fleet of vehicles, which are mostly used by Tokyo residents and are also common on roads in other cities.
But unlike most other Japanese automakers, Tamanus has not only set out to create its own bus brand, it’s also built its own fleet of the company’s buses.
That’s a huge challenge, said Kazuo Okumura, Tamas’ CEO.
Okumura says he’s had to take several steps to make the company a reality.
The first was a long-overdue redesign of the vehicles.
He says the design was inspired by the shape of the buses’ front tires, which make up the bulk of their weight.
He also wanted to make them lighter.
“We didn’t want to make any sort of gimmick,” he said.
Tamanus says its buses can be used to travel between two major Tokyo neighborhoods, Shinjuku and Shinjima, and it can accommodate up to 20 passengers at a time.
The company has built more than 500 of the cars, which it says can travel up to 4,500 kilometers (2,400 miles) on their own.
It has been selling them since October 2016.
“The whole thing is about getting the right blend of convenience and performance,” said Tamanussa president Yoshihide Hiraoka.
Tamas buses have a seating capacity of 15, and each can carry up to 60 passengers.
But because of their size, they are also difficult to maneuver.
That has made them popular with residents in Shinjū and Shinma neighborhoods.
They also have been popular in the past with commuters in Tokyo’s suburbs, where the buses are often parked.
Tamaus, which has a Japanese subsidiary called Tama, sells buses through two different online platforms, as well as through local retail outlets.
It is not yet clear whether it will sell to the public.
But the company says its new buses are more like taxis than other vehicles, and they are safer than other buses.
They are also quieter, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly.
Tamenus said its fleet can travel anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours on a charge.