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Hyundai to supply its first electric bus 'Elec City' to Busan

Hyundai to supply its first electric bus 'Elec City' to Busan

Posted September. 08, 2017 07:49,   

Updated September. 08, 2017 08:51

Hyundai Motor announced on Thursday that it has signed a contract to supply electric buses to companies in Busan with its first electric bus Elec City. This marks the first time that the local auto giant has signed a contract on the Elec City for commercial use.

The Elec City was first unveiled in May at Hyundai Truck & Bus Mega Fair, displaying a full range of commercial vehicles. It took the motor company seven years to complete the development of the Elec City.

Hyundai Motor's first electric bus has earned a satisfying rating on the driving distance per single charge, a key to successful commercialization of electric vehicles. Equipped with the 256 kWh high-capacity lithium-ion polymer battery, the Elec City can run 309 kilometers per charge (72 minutes) when driven at a regular speed, and it can go as far as 170 kilometers with a 30-minute quick charge.

The operation of the Elec City will begin in Busan starting from late this year. The major auto maker of Korea is planning to bolster R&D and operation of eco-friendly buses with the signing in Busan being a stepping stone to their goal. From next year, Hyundai is also going to implement a pilot operation of hydrogen electric buses.

Hyundai Motor is expecting that there will be more cities, with a strong interest in eco-friendly policy and a will to establish themselves as a leading green city. Decent mileage is a major feature of electric buses much emphasized by the motor company. The fuel costs run only one third of the costs typically required by CNG buses. When driven 100,000 kilometers for a year, an electric bus can save as much as 30 million Korean won compared to their CNG cousins.

Eco-friendly vehicles are one of the major sources of future growth of Hyundai Motor. Commercial vehicles such as buses or trucks consume a great deal of power for their size. Naturally, big power consumption leads to a big amount of emission of pollutants. Adopting more environmentally friendly vehicles can dramatically reduce the amount of fuel cost and emission at the same time.

Hyundai Motor is one of the five companies around the world that are fully equipped to develop, research and manufacture the final product of commercial vehicles. As they have less competitors compared to the sedan market, commercial vehicle manufacturers enjoy easier access to market share expansion.

Woo-Shin Han hanwshin@donga.com