Pollution has gotten so bad in South Korea that people have to wear protective masks just to walk outside. Back in March the government passed emergency measures triggered by particulate levels in the air reaching record levels.
- The capital city of Korea is experiencing dangerous levels of pollution.
- Korean-based Hyundai is the third largest automotive group in the world
- In an effort to help battle its country’s pollution problem, Hyundai introduced its first all-electric bus.
South Korea blames China for between 50% and 70% of fine dust pollution in the Seoul area. South Korean experts claim the particles from Chinese deserts and factories carry over on the westerly winds.
A man wearing a mask to protect from air pollution walks along the Han river at a park in Seoul Photograph: Lee Jin-man/APWhether or not China is partially responsible for the heinous pollution is a moot point. Something had to be done immediately. Concentrations reached dangerous levels of PM 2.5 particles in seven major cities. According to an article in the Journal of Thoracic Disease, particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter can penetrate deeply into the lung, irritate and corrode the alveolar wall, and consequently impair lung function.
The series of bills gave authorities access to $2.65 billion in emergency funds. Those funds will go towards mandatory installation of high-capacity air purifiers in classrooms and encouraging sales of liquified petroleum gas vehicles, which produce lower emissions than those that run on petrol and diesel, among other solutions.
As the world’s third largest automaker, Hyundai Motor Company which includes Kia and Genesis, produces 1.6 million units a year in its integrated automobile manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea.
Hyundai’s Further Electric Solutions
It would almost seem mandatory that Hyundai would help clean up its own country, particularly since automobiles are one of the biggest contributors to air pollution. Hyundai already has pushed forward with electric technology with the all-electric Hyundai Kona and the hybrid and EV Kia Soul.
To further support its own mission to be a good environmental citizen, Hyundai presented its first, fully electric double-decker bus to be deployed in Korea.“The double-decker electric bus is an environmentally friendly vehicle optimized for global eco-friendly trends,” said ByoungWoo Hwang, Head of Commercial Vehicle Advanced Engineering team at Hyundai Motor. “This will not only improve the air quality, but also contribute greatly to easing commuting hour traffic congestion by accommodating more passengers.”
Electric motor with impressive range
The bus features a 321hp (240kW) electric motor with independent suspension for a more comfortable ride and a rear-wheel steering system to make it more maneuverable in the crowded streets of Seoul.
A water-cooled 384kWh polymer battery pack juices up to give the bus an impressive 186 miles of range on a single charge. According to Hyundai, the battery can be recharged in 72 minutes.
The bus can fit up to 70 passengers: with 11 seats on the first floor and 59 on the upper deck. It’s decked out with advanced safety features like a Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and Lane Keeping Assist. In addition, the bus makes transportation available to all passengers. It’s designed with an automatic sliding ramp and a low floor for easier access and exit for disabled and mobility impaired passengers.