SEOUL -- A double-decker electric bus with a maximum 300 kilometer (186 miles) driving range on a single charge, developed by Hyundai Motor as part of a state-sponsored project, made its debut at a technology fair.
The bus was shown on Wednesday at the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Technology Fair in Ilsan, a northwestern satellite city of Seoul. The project to develop an eco-friendly bus began in 2017, supported by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.
The bus allows up to 70 passengers -- 11 seats on the first floor and 59 seats on the second floor -- 1.5 times as many passengers as compared to that of a regular bus, Hyundai said in a statement, adding that through the implementation of two fixed-in-space wheelchairs, an automatic sliding ramp and low floor design, the bus secures added accessibility for disabled and mobility impaired passengers.
It is 12.99 meters long and 3.99 meters high. To increase efficiency and reduce emissions, the bus is equipped with a 384 kWh water-cooled high-efficiency polymer battery. Hyundai said a full charge can be completed in 72 minutes.
"The double-decker electric bus is an environmentally friendly vehicle optimized for global eco-friendly trends," Hwang Byoung-woo, head of Hyundai's commercial vehicle advanced engineering team, was quoted as saying. "This will not only ultimately improve the air quality, but also contribute greatly to easing commuting hour traffic congestion by accommodating more passengers."
Safety features included Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), which identifies the driver's intended driving direction and maintains the vehicle in control, and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), which uses a front-facing camera to detect an imminent collision, and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), which helps prevent accidental lane departure by sensing road markings.
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