‘Peanut Bus’ launches in Seoul

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SOUTH KOREA The city of Seoul, South Korea, has debuted its new Namsan Electric Bus.

Dubbed Peanut Buses due to their unique shape, they can carry 1,000 to 3,000 passengers a day and up to 47 passengers per trip.

Currently, a fully-charged battery, which takes 20 to 30 minutes to charge, allows the bus to run for 80 kilometres (two or three rounds depending on the route) at an average speed of 20 to 40 km/h. The top speed is 100 km/h. The South Korean government is working to increase the battery efficiency further.

“Many countries were deeply impressed by our successful commercialisation of the electric bus,” said Hyung-rae Song, an official in charge of the Green Car Project. “We get a steady stream of visitors from overseas for test-rides and discussions.”

The Seoul government plans to expand the number of electric buses to 377 by 2014, for routes shorter than 20 kilometres in the Gangnam and Yeouido area.