Hyundai unveils electric double-decker bus

South Korean automaker Hyundai is branching out into the electric bus market with their first all-electric double-decker bus.

It’s powered by a 384kWh water-cooled polymer battery that lasts for 300 km on an impressive 72-minute full charging time and can fit 70 passengers, which is around 1.5 times as many passengers as a regular bus.

It features an independent suspension system in the first driving axle which Hyundai says should allow for a more comfortable ride.

Powering the car is a 240kW wheel motor axle combined with a motor in the second axle that minimises loss of electricity.

Hyundai developed the electric bus over the course of 18 months through a project supported by the South Korean government.

ByoungWoo Hwang, head of commercial vehicle advanced engineering team at Hyundai Motor said: ‘The double-decker electric bus is an environmentally friendly vehicle optimized for global eco-friendly trends.

Photo credit – Hyundai

‘This will not only ultimately improve the air quality, but also contribute greatly to easing commuting hour traffic congestion by accommodating more passengers.’

All electric double-decker buses will soon become a familiar sight in UK towns and cities following a recent wave of investment.

From October, York will have 21 new double-decker electric buses following funding from First York and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

However, electric bus manufacturers are facing competition from an emerging hydrogen bus industry which is beginning to make inroads into the UK market.

Earlier this month, it was announced the ‘world’s first’ hydrogen double-decker buses will be rolled-out on three London bus routes next year.

Transport for London (TfL) has ordered 20 of the buses, which produce no pollution from their exhausts and are powered with a hydrogen fuel cell and a battery pack.

Arcola Energy also recently announced they will build a facility to develop hydrogen and fuel cell technology for buses near Liverpool.

The manufacturing area of the new site will be used to produce and install hydrogen fuel systems into a fleet of double-decker buses for the Liverpool City Region, after the city region was awarded £6.4m for the project by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.