Hyundai Motor Company has launched its very first electric minibus called the County Electric. Aimed at providing affordable and eco-friendly transportation alternative to diesel-powered buses, the Hyundai Country Electric will be available in configurations of 15 to 33 seats. 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).
Launched for the Korean market, Hyundai County Electric can also be charged using a 220V household outlet which takes 17 hours. Hyundai is providing a 220V home charger 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. The bus is fitted with an electronically controlled, air-over-hydraulic(AOH) brake system. The discs are more robust to handle the increased vehicle weight due to the battery.
When passengers get on and off, the Hyundai electric bus has 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.
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.
The Hyundai County Electric boasts a long list of safety features that include Stability control feature that controls each of the wheels during sudden braking and turning, Overturn prevention feature controls engine and braking when the possibility is detected, Hill launch assist feature, Wheelspin prevention feature, New parking brake that adds air pressure for more stable braking force, and Auxiliary braking system adjusts the strength of regenerative braking in four levels using a paddle shift attached to the steering wheel to adjust braking force without brake operation.
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