Hyundai Motor unveils first mass-produced electric bus

South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company demonstrated its vision for future commercial vehicle technologies at the inaugural Hyundai Truck & Bus Mega Fair last week, with the unveiling of its first mass-produced electric bus dubbed Elec City.

At the Mega Fair, Hyundai Motor revealed its vision for pioneering eco-friendly commercial vehicle technology with a new strategic roadmap. A key goal is to engineer environmentally focused buses and heavy-goods vehicles, while positioning Hyundai Motor as a leader in safety technology within the commercial vehicle field.

“The ‘Hyundai Truck & Bus Mega Fair’ presents an ideal opportunity to introduce Hyundai Motor’s vision and competitiveness in the commercial vehicle arena,” said Jaiyoung Yoo, senior vice president, head of Commercial Vehicle Division at Hyundai Motor Company. “We’re sure that a new era of commercial vehicle enterprise will begin with this showcase event.”

Hyundai Motor said it aims to increase the fuel efficiency of its commercial vehicles by up to 30% by 2020, compared to 2015.

To achieve this goal, the company will enhance its R&D capabilities in powertrain technology while also optimising each of its commercial vehicle models to meet various customer needs.

As Hyundai enhances intelligent safety technologies for commercial vehicles, Hyundai Motor has equipped its large trucks and buses with safety features, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Smart Cruise Control (SCC).

Applications of these intelligent features will be expanded across the entire lineup of commercial vehicles in coming years. After adding connectivity features, Hyundai plans to conduct test drives of platooning technology as early as next year under controlled circumstances.

Hyundai Motor has a pedigree for developing alternative fueled commercial vehicles, with research and development into hybrid, electric and fuel cell technology starting in 1999. This led to Hyundai Motor producing the groundbreaking Blue-City commercial vehicle in 2013 – the world’s first Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) hybrid bus.

Since 2015, Hyundai Motor has accelerated its research and development of electric and fuel cell buses. Elec City, Hyundai Motor’s first mass-produced electric bus, showcases the brand’s technological achievements, highlighting the breadth of electric bus technology from the brand. Alongside production of the electric bus, Hyundai Motor plans to launch the third generation of its fuel cell bus in 2018, having shown the first-generation vehicle at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

“Hyundai Motor has achieved a lot in the eco-friendly vehicle field, but we will never stand still. We continue to invest heavily to ensure zero-emission technology for all commercial vehicles,” said Yeongduck Tak, senior vice president, head of Hyundai’s Commercial Vehicle R&D Division.

Elec City provides a glimpse into the future of public transportation. The bus demonstrates the suitability of Hyundai Motor’s pioneering fully electric powertrain for commercial application. On the road, Elec City boasts best-in-class driving range. With a 256kwh lithium-ion polymer battery, the bus has a driving range of 290km (180 miles) on a single charge. Furthermore, it features a variety of safety- and human-centered facilities, such as Around View Monitoring and a Full-Color Digital Cluster.

Hyundai Motor’s commercial vehicle commitments reach around 130 countries and the company aims to sell more than 105,000 commercial vehicles globally this year.

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