Forget electric cars. Hyundai has taken the wraps off an electric, double-decker bus at a trade fair in South Korea.

The first of its kind for Hyundai, it’s part of the company’s effort to help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

The bus seats up to 70 passengers, with 11 seats on the first floor and another 59 seats on the second floor – 1.5 times more passengers than a regular bus.

It’s equipped with a 384 kWh water-cooled high-efficiency polymer battery that delivers a maximum range of 300km from a single charge.

A full charge can be completed in 72 minutes.

That’s enough to carry a busload of tourists from Sydney airport to the Blue Mountains and back again.

The large electric double-decker bus is 12,990mm long and 3995mm high.

It runs on an independent suspension system in the first driving axle for a more comfortable ride, and a 240kW wheel motor axle combined with a motor in the second axle that minimises loss of electricity.

A rear-wheel steering system works in coherence with the steering system of the first axle, optimizing steering performance.

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

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

To develop thebus, Hyundai worked for 18 months on a project supported by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, which began in 2017.

Through the implementation of two fixed-in-space wheelchairs, an automatic sliding ramp and low floor design, the double-decker bus secures added accessibility for disabled and mobility impaired passengers.

It’s also equipped with a number of advanced safety features to ensure the safety of the passengers:

  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) helps identify the driver’s intended driving direction and maintain the vehicle in control.
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) uses the car’s front-facing camera to help detect an imminent collision and avoid impact or minimise damage by braking autonomously.
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) helps prevent accidental lane departure by sensing road markings.

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.