HYUNDAI MOTOR'S FIRST ‘COUNTY ELECTRIC’ MINIBUS
Hyundai Motor Company has introduced its first electric minibus, the County Electric. The model is build for the Korean market and Hyundai says it provides an economical, eco-friendly, safe and convenient alternative to diesel-powered buses. The County is 7,710 mm long and suitable for up to 33 seats. It is equipped with a high-power 128 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery that provides a range of 250 km on a full charge.
The battery can be fully charged in 72 minutes using a standard Combo 1 DC system (based on 150 kW charging). The bus can be charged using a household 220V outlet, which takes 17 hours; a 220V charger is provided as an option. Hyundai states the Country Electric has within the 50 to 80 km/h range a 30 percent faster acceleration compared to diesel models. “With demand for electric vehicles rising in the commercial vehicle market, Hyundai is accelerating its introduction of vehicles such as the County Electric” said Yoon Lee, Vice President and Head of Commercial Vehicle Product Group at Hyundai Motor.
To safeguard the passengers getting on and off the bus various sensors are located near the middle door, including an ultrasonic sensor, preventing the door from closing while the passenger is getting on and off. This sensor is also connected to the bus’s acceleration pedal, and prevents the bus from moving forward from a stop when passenger movement is detected. County Electric also comes with a virtual engine sound system and rear parking assist system to warn pedestrians and prevent accidents. The driver has a brand new cockpit with a color LCD instrument panel with a 7-inch main screen and two 4.2-inch auxiliary screens, providing various vehicle information and a steering wheel with various function buttons. A smart key is there for starting a button that enables remote start.
A battery monitoring system automatically cuts the power when a battery abnormality is detected and also overcharging is protected. The County is equipped with various safety systems such as stability control, overturn prevention, hill launch assist, wheel spin prevention and an auxiliary braking system that adjusts the strength of regenerative braking in four levels using a paddle shift attached to the steering wheel to adjust braking force without brake operation.