Urban Transport

Hyundai's first electric bus can go the distance

Hyundai's first electric bus c...
Hyundai says its Elec City electric bus can go 290 miles on a single charge
Hyundai says its Elec City electric bus can go 290 miles on a single charge
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Hyundai says its Elec City electric bus can go 290 miles on a single charge
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Hyundai says its Elec City electric bus can go 290 miles on a single charge

Hyundai has been making some sizable moves in the electric vehicle space, last year unveiling a full lineup of electric IONIQs and even an electrified scooter to go with it. It is now setting its sights on zero-emission public transit with its first electric bus, and its claimed range is nothing to sneeze at.

The diesel-powered buses that roam many of the world's cities are a bit of a problem. One of the reasons for this is the nitrogen oxides that are released through the burning of the fuel, which are strong oxidizing agents that mix with volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere to create the type of smog that famously clouds city skylines in Los Angeles and Beijing.

Respiratory problems, headaches, heart disease and cancer are all problems that can arise from this type of pollution, and there may be a lot more of it about than we even realize. A comprehensive study last month found that real-world emissions from diesel vehicles have been underestimated by as much as 50 percent, linking the pollution that had gone unaccounted for with 38,000 premature deaths in 2015.

Converting city buses to electricity could help us cut down on these harmful emissions, and they mightn't be bad for a city's bottom line either. While the initial costs will be much higher, research has shown that these can be paid back over time by savings in fuel and maintenance. And that's to say nothing of the savings on health care.

So it is good news that more and more companies are looking for cleaner alternatives. Hyundai's so-called Elec City is its first mass-produced electric bus, and runs on a 256-kWh battery with range listed as 290 mi (466 km). If the bus does make its way to the US, its competitors will include the Proterra Catalyst E2 which despite having a claimed nominal range of 194 to 350 mi (312 to 563 km), has logged more than 600 mi (966 km) on a single charge under test conditions. The Lion Bus and the EZ10 in Switzerland are a couple of other examples of electric buses currently undergoing trials around the world.

Details beyond that are scarce, but Hyundai does say an official launch for the Elec City is coming in 2018.

Source: Hyundai

6 comments
6 comments
VincentWolf
There is really no excuse for all transportation NOT to be electric including planes, trains, semi trucks, buses, trash trucks, construction equipment, farming equipment, etc.
It's simply greed by big oil which has most nations in an icy grip.
For the good of mankind the people need to rise up in this world and BAN all fossil fuels from being used for transportation in all forms.
Roger0509
No mention of solar panels, seems like the big roof of a bus would be ideal for that. Regenerative braking is obvious, given all the stopping and starting. Also the bus could pick up energy via overhead contacts at each bus stop. Such measures might extend the range to cover a working day, which would simplify operations.
YuraG
@Roger0509 - then let's stretch overhead contacts and voilia – we've got a trolleybus! Yet solarpanels are long overdue to populate all that flat real estate gathering dust.
Robert in Vancouver
OK Vincent Wolf. Let's ban use of fossil fuels. You'll have to stop using all forms of transport that use fossil fuels. And if there's no fossil fuels you'll have to stop using smart phones, computers, air conditioning, buying food in stores, and buying anything made with plastic. Lead the way Vincent and be first to stop using everything that relies on fossil fuels, maybe others will follow.
Roger0509
@YuraG: Very big difference between supplying power to point sources versus stringing overhead wires all along a route. Buses have been driven by flywheels run up at each bus stop, see for example http://jalopnik.com/how-the-swiss-developed-an-emissions-free-bus-without-u-1413061006. Reasons for ultimate rejection were unrelated to any difficulty delivering power to each bus stop, just like street lights.
JimFox
City buses are ideal for electrification; short runs, stop-start, huge battery areas, no great speed required, recharge at depot, QUIET! besides the obvious death of diesel. In-wheel motors are viable, unsprung weight being no great hindrance. There is/was a company that converts diesel buses to electric at end-of-life, fully refurbished for about the cost of a new diesel.