With the growing trend of electric mobility gathering pace, not only personal mobility but also public transport is caught in this wind of transformation. With the growing rate of fuel prices, for affordable means of public transportation, electric mobility solutions hold the key.
A recent example of this could be seen in South Korea where Hyundai Motor Company has introduced the County Electric for the home market, the company’s first electric minibus, providing an economical, eco-friendly, safe and convenient alternative to diesel-powered buses.
As per the company, the 7,710-mm long bus is powered by a 128 kWh lithium-ion battery that provides a claimed range of 250 km between charges. The battery pack can be charged to full capacity in 72 minutes on a standard Combo 1 DC system (based 150 kWh charging). The bus can be charged using a household 220V outlet, which takes 17 hours; a 220V charger is provided as an option. Hyundai says that the Country Electric bus provides 30 percent faster acceleration compared to diesel models within the 50 to 80 km/h range.
Hyundai Motor will offer the bus in configurations with 15 to 33 seats. It comes equipped with an electronically controlled, air-over-hydraulic (AOH) brake system to handle increased vehicle weight due to the battery. The discs are more robust to handle the increased vehicle weight due to the battery.
Commenting on the bus, Yoon Lee, Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicle Product Group at Hyundai Motor said, “County Electric is a zero-emission bus that offers tremendous safety and convenience features for drivers and passengers. With demand for electric vehicles rising in the commercial vehicle market, Hyundai is accelerating its introduction of vehicles such as the County Electric.”
Hyundai Motor equipped the bus with the latest safety technologies to prevent accidents when passengers get on and off. Various sensors located near the middle door, including an ultrasonic sensor, prevent the door from closing while the passenger is getting on and off. The sensors also trigger an alarm when a body part gets caught in the door and automatically opens the door to prevent injury. The ultrasonic sensor is also connected to the bus’s acceleration pedal, which prevents the bus from moving forward from a stop when passenger movement is detected. County Electric also comes with a virtual engine sound system and rear parking assist system to warn pedestrians and prevent accidents.
While reversing the bus, the driver is assisted by a rear parking system and the bus also has a virtual engine sound system to alert pedestrians and prevent accidents. It gets a twin swing-type rear emergency door, seats with a 220-mm-higher backrest, and a new seat belt system which Hyundai says reduces abdominal pressure during emergency braking.