County electric minibus is ready to roll up to 155 miles per charge
The Hyundai Motor Company has launched its first electric minibus. The County Electric's 128-kWh Li-ion battery is reported good for up to 250 km, and can be fully charged in a little over an hour using a 150-kW charger.
Developed as an eco-friendly alternative to the diesel minibuses you might see taking small groups of hoildaymakers for a day out at the beach, the County Electric can be configured to seat between 15 and 33 passengers and those seats have a higher backrest than you may find on other vehicles. The electric drivetrain offers more space inside, while sensors ensure that the middle door doesn't close while passengers get off and on. One of the door sensors is linked to the acceleration pedal, and if it detects passenger movement while the vehicle is at a stop, the bus will be prevented from moving off.
The minibus has been fitted with electronically-controlled air-over-hydraulic disc braking designed to better cope with the additional vehicle weight as a result of the battery pack. Other safety features include a double swing emergency exit to the rear, an overturn prevention system, wheel spin prevention, a new safety belt setup that's aimed at reducing abdominal pressure during emergency braking and a digital engine sound that alerts pedestrians to the presence of the minibus.
Hyundai Motor says that the 128-kWh battery can be fully charged in 72 minutes using a 150-kW Combo 1 DC charging system, or it will take 17 hours over a 220-V household outlet. Drivers can look forward to faster acceleration in the 50 to 80 km/h (31 - 49.7 mph) range compared to diesel buses, as well as heated seats, an LCD instrument panel with a 7-inch main screen and two 4.2-inch auxiliary displays, and smart key remote starting.
"County Electric is a zero-emission bus that offers tremendous safety and convenience features for drivers and passengers," said the company's Yoon Lee. "With demand for electric vehicles rising in the commercial vehicle market, Hyundai is accelerating its introduction of vehicles such as the County Electric."
At this point, it's unclear whether the County Electric will be available outside of the Korean market.
Source: Hyundai Motor Company