South-Korea's Capital Starts Commercial Operation of Electric Buses

south korea electric bus photo

Photo: SMG
A Way to Make Transit Even Greener
Seoul's residents now have access to high-tech full-sized electric buses on the Mt. Namsan circular routes. So far only 5 out of the 14 buses that serve this route have been swapped for EVs, but over time they will all be replaced. This is an initiative of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) and part of a larger goal: By 2020, the SMG would like to see 120,000 electric vehicles on the city's roads, "which will account for 50% of all public transport vehicles, 10% of sedans and 1% of trucks and vans."
seoul south korea photo

Seoul at night. Photo: tylerdurden1, CC

The buses are being produced by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hankuk Fiber.

The electric coaches now serving on the Mt. Namsan circular routes are 11.05 meters long and run up to 83 km (52 miles) with a single charge. They can be fully charged in less than 30 minutes with a high-speed battery charger. The electric bus, with a maximum speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), has a low floor and a 240 kW motor. It features a high-capacity lithium-ion battery and a regenerative braking system.

Its body is made of a carbon composite material which considerably reduces the vehicle's weight while reinforcing durability. The electric buses are also equipped with automatic slant boards for wheelchair users. (source)

The 30-minute charging time is particularly impressive. It's easy to extrapolate a bit in the future and imagine electric buses that have a longer range and a similar or shorter charging time, making them a perfect fit for even more types of routes.

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