Eco Cars Dominate Busan Expo

      June 03, 2016 12:09

      Environmentally-friendly vehicles took center stage at the Busan International Motor Show that opened with a press preview Thursday.

      The diesel cars that used to dominate were almost absent after a series of emissions-rigging scandals and growing concerns about air pollution here.

      The expo runs until June 12 and showcases around 30 models by 25 automakers from around the world. Their number has increased 14 percent compared to the previous motor show held in the southern port city.

      Hyundai showcased an electric version of its hybrid Ioniq that can travel up to 191 km on a single charge. Hyundai executive Kwon Moon-sik, told reporters on Wednesday that the automaker aims to become the world's No. 2 maker of green cars with 28 hybrid models within the next four years.

      Affiliate Kia unveiled the K5 PHEV and K7 hybrids. The plug-in hybrid vehicles are powered by rechargeable batteries and shift to a gasoline engine only when the battery runs out.

      Models pose with Kia's K5 plug-in hybrid at the Busan International Motor Show at BEXCO in the southern port city on Thursday. /Courtesy of Kia Motors

      GM Korea showcased the Volt, a plug-in hybrid scheduled to hit showrooms here in the second half of this year. It can travel up to 676 km on a single charge. GM is banking on sales of the Volt as well as its Malibu sedan that hit showrooms last month.

      Japanese carmakers launched a full-court press with their own environmentally friendly cars. Toyota is exhibiting eight green models, including the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, i-Road personal mobility vehicle, newly trimmed Prius hatchback and RAV4 hybrid version.

      It was the Korean debut of the Mirai, which can travel up to 650 km in one charge and emits only water from its exhaust as it runs. Lexus also showcased hybrid models.

      Actor Jung Woo-sung introduces a Lexus premium sedan at a press preview at the Busan International Motor Show at BEXCO in the southern port city on Thursday. /Newsis

      Nissan featured its new Murano hybrid SUV and the Leaf, the world's best-selling EV.

      But SUVs are still in demand. BMW exhibits the X5 xDrive40e hybrid, the world's first plug-in hybrid SUV, while Renault Samsung unveiled the QM6 SUV. Bentley, Maserati and Jaguar also unveiled their latest SUV, while Land Rover showcases the Evoque luxury convertible.

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