Hyundai launches its first electric minibus with a 250-km range
Hyundai Motor has introduced its first electric minibus - the County Electric - as an economical and eco-friendly alternative to diesel-powered buses. The minibus will currently be available in the Korean market.
The minibus is equipped with a high-power 128-kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery that provides a range of 250 km on a full charge. The battery can be fully charged in 72 minutes using a standard Combo 1 DC system (based on 150kW charging) or can be charged using a household 220V outlet, which takes 17 hours. A 220V charger is provided as an option.
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The County Electric is 7,710-mm-long and comes in configurations of 15 to 33 seats. It is equipped with an electronically controlled, air-over-hydraulic (AOH) brake system with more robust brake discs to handle increased vehicle weight due to the battery. Hyundai says, within the 50 to 80 km/h range, the electric minibus provides 30% faster acceleration compared to diesel models.
The minibus also gets latest safety technologies to prevent accidents when passengers get on and off. An ultrasonic sensor located near the middle door prevents doors to close when passenger movement is detected. It triggers an alarm if a body part is caught between the doors to prevent injuries. The ultrasonic sensor is also connected to the bus’ acceleration pedal, which prevents the bus from moving forward from a stop when passenger movement is detected. County Electric comes with a virtual engine sound system and rear parking assist system to warn pedestrians and prevent accidents.
Replacing the diesel engine with electric motor has made more space in the bus, making passenger movement easier. The bus is available with a twin swing-type rear emergency door, seats with a 220-mm-higher backrest, and a new seat belt system that can reduce abdominal pressure during emergency braking.
With an acceleration in the electric vehicle market, Hyundai too is moving towards the green change. Yoon Lee, Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicle Product Group, said in a press statement, “County Electric is a zero-emission bus that offers tremendous safety and convenience features for drivers and passengers." He added, "With demand for electric vehicles rising in the commercial vehicle market, Hyundai is accelerating its introduction of vehicles such as the County Electric."