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Hyundai launches first electric minibus with 128kWh battery pack

Hyundai is launching its first electric “minibus” equipped with a 128kWh battery pack for economical short trips.

In recent years, electric buses have become popular with mass transit agencies looking to electrify their fleets.

Electric bus manufacturers like BYD and Protera have mostly focused on bigger vehicles for mass transit, but there’s also an opportunity for smaller transit vehicles to be electric.

Hyundai is seizing this opportunity with the new “County Electric,” an electric minibus:

The 7,710-mm-long County Electric is equipped with a high-efficiency and high-power 128-kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery that provides a range of 250 km on a full charge. Hyundai Motor will offer the bus in configurations with 15 to 33 seats.

Here are two renders that the automaker released this week:

Yoon Lee, vice president and head of commercial vehicles at Hyundai, commented on the launch:

County Electric is a zero-emission bus that offers tremendous safety and convenience features for drivers and passengers. With demand for electric vehicles rising in the commercial vehicle market, Hyundai is accelerating its introduction of vehicles such as the County Electric.

The vehicle is first going to be deployed in Korea where it is going to electrify some shorter bus routes.

With the County Electric, Hyundai focused on safety:

Hyundai Motor equipped the bus with the latest safety technologies to prevent accidents when passengers get on and off. 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. County Electric also comes with a virtual engine sound system and rear parking assist system to warn pedestrians and prevent accidents.

Here they list some features of the electric bus:

Battery features

  • Battery monitoring system capable of automatically cutting the power when a battery abnormality is detected
  • Overcharge prevention system that checks the battery voltage during charging and cuts the power when an abnormal voltage is detected
  • Safety plug that cuts the power to the electrical system during maintenance

Brake and stability features

  • AOH brake system that uses both hydraulic pressure and air pressure
  • Heavy-duty brake discs
  • Electronically controlled brake system that can maintain constant braking performance in various driving situations
  • 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
  • Wheel spin prevention feature
  • New parking brake that adds air pressure for more stable braking force
  • 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

Convenience features

  • Ventilated and heated seats for driver
  • Color LCD instrument panel with a 7-inch main screen and two 4.2-inch auxiliary screens, providing various vehicle information

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