South Korean vehicle manufacturer Hyundai Motor is planning to mass-produce electric buses next year as part of the automaker’s broader push into electric vehicles. Test-drives of its electric bus will start in the second half of this year, with plans to begin manufacturing in the first half of next year, targeting both local and overseas markets.
The new bus will have a driving range of 260 kilometers that can be fully charged within one hour with a high-speed charger, industry sources say. It is the first time for the auto conglomerate to mass-produce electric buses.
Hyundai showcased its first electric bus Elec-city in 2010, but the commercialization never came through, faced with price constraints. Eight years on, in the wake of recent battery price drops and growing demand for alternative fuel vehicles for public use, Hyundai is now eyeing the mass production of electric buses with the aim of making full charging speeds shorter than an hour on a fast-charge setting.
Along with electric buses, Hyundai is also developing its own batteries.