South Korean auto giant Hyundai has unveiled an all-electric double decker bus, in a bid to tackle two of the biggest issues facing the transport sector: worsening air pollution, and increasingly congested roads.

The first of its kind vehicle for Hyundai was unveiled at the Land Infrastructure and Transport Technology Fair in Korea in May.

According to a company statement, Hyundai has been working on the all-electric double decker project since 2017, with the backing of the Korean government.

Equipped with a 384kWh “water-cooled high efficiency” polymer battery, the bus is said to have a “maximum” range of 300km, a 72-minute full recharge time, and enough room to carry 70 passengers – one-and-a-half times more than a regular bus.

At nearly 13 metres long and 4 metres high, it uses an independent suspension system in the first driving axle for a smoother ride, and a 240kW wheel motor axle combined with a motor in the second axle to minimise loss of electricity.

The bus has just 11 seats on the lower level (compared to 59 up top), to accommodate two fixed-in-space wheelchairs and maximise accessibility for disabled and mobility impaired passengers.

It is also said to include “advanced safety features, including Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC); Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA); and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA).

“The double-decker electric bus is an environmentally friendly vehicle optimised for global eco-friendly trends,” said the head of Hyundai Motor’s Commercial Vehicle Advanced Engineering team, ByoungWoo Hwang.

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

As readers of The Driven would note, electric bus development and deployment is gaining a great deal of momentum globally, as more and more cities and countries commit to targets for zero emissions transport.

In terms of double decker buses, however, there hasn’t been a huge amount of news.

Last year, a fleet of 68 new electric buses was ordered by the City of London, 31 of which were to be Optare Metrodeckers – an electric double-decker model made by India’s Ashok Leyland.

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