[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor, the nation’s largest automaker, unveiled its first commercialized electric bus on May 25, with plans to start mass-production next year.
Hyundai’s Elec City made its debut on the opening day of the Hyundai Truck & Bus Mega Fair, held at the carmaker’s newly opened Hyundai Motor Studio in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.
The new bus, equipped with a 256 kilowatt-hour lithium ion polymer battery, has a driving range of 290 kilometers on a single charge. It takes about an hour to fully charge, according to the automaker.
With the introduction of Elec City, Hyundai aims to further push its commercial vehicle segment, as well as expand its green car lineup.
“Hyundai Motor’s commercial cars are available in 130 different countries around the world,” Yoo Jae-young, head of commercial business at Hyundai Motor said at the press event. “This year, we plan to sell 105,000 units globally.”
That is 3 percent rise from 102,000 units of trucks and buses sold last year.
“We will adopt high-tech safety features and new technologies in our commercial vehicles and develop eco-friendly transportation system to meet customer demand,” said Yoo.
During the event, Hyundai announced a set of new goals for its commercial vehicle segment. By 2020, the carmaker plans to improve fuel efficiency of commercial vehicles by up to 30 percent, as well as secure truck platooning technology.
The Elec City arrives after eight years of development. In 2010, the automaker showcased its first electric bus, but faced with price constraints its commercialization never came through.
The exact price of the Elec City has not been finalized, according to a Hyundai Motor official. But the electric buses will be able to save up to 27 million won (US$24,162) annually on fuel and maintenance in comparison to the regular compressed natural gas buses.
Hyundai’s ongoing exhibition for commercial vehicles, the first of its kind in Korea, runs through May 28 at the KINTEX outdoor exhibition and Hyundai Motor Studio in Goyang.
At the four-day-long trade show, the automaker is showcasing 56 units of production cars, 110 units of special purpose vehicles as well as 9 cars equipped with new eco-friendly technology, including the Solati fuel cell concept car.
By Ahn Sung-mi (firstname.lastname@example.org)