The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) has started the commercial operation of full-size electric buses with five electric coached placed into operations on the Mt Namsan circular routes and 14 more buses have been planned to be replaced with electric vehicles in the future.

The electric buses developed by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Hankuk Fiber for SMG under an agreement signed in September 2009, are 11.05m long and feature high-capacity lithium-ion battery that can be fully charged in less than 30 minutes with a high-speed battery charger.

The electric bus made out of light weight carbon composite material has maximum speed of 100km/hr, can run up to 83km with a single charge and is equipped with a 322hp engine and an energy saving system that can collect and reuse energy generated from brakes when running downhill.

SMG plans to put a total of 120,000 electric vehicles in use in the city by 2020 and build two more battery chargers on Namsan by March 2011, increasing the number from two to four.

The deployment of these electric buses, which is expected to improve the air conditions in region, will take Seoul City one step further towards a ‘Green-Car, Smart City’, advancing the technology of large-sized electric vehicles in the global electric car market.