Dec 282010

Korea begins first commercial electric bus service

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has claimed a world first by deploying electric buses on a commercial route.

Previous electric bus operations have all been trials, or in the case of Expo 2010 in Shanghai, free public services. The buses went into service on December 21 after an 18 month development project with Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hankuk Fiber.

The electric coaches serving on the Mt. Namsan circular routes are 11.05 meters long and run up to 83km with a single charge. The lithium-ion battery pack can be fully charged in less than 30 minutes and the bus has a maximum speed of 100 km/h. There’s also a regenerative system that reuses energy from brakes when running downhill.

The body is made of a carbon composite material, not of iron plates, which considerably reduces the vehicle’s weight while reinforcing durability. The electric buses are also equipped with automatic slant boards for wheelchair users.

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