Hyundai ‘shows path forward for eco-friendly motoring’

Mike Song, head of operations for Africa and the Middle East.
Updated 13 September 2017
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Hyundai ‘shows path forward for eco-friendly motoring’

Hyundai is taking a leading role in the transition toward a more environmentally sustainable motor industry by creating a practical path forward in moving from fossil fuels to electric vehicles that will suit a wide range of worldwide markets.
While there is now a consensus in the motor industry that electric vehicles will dominate the future, Hyundai’s Head of Operations for Africa and the Middle East, Mike Song, said there is a tendency for companies to focus too heavily on a limited choice of technologies. As a result, the products in development may not be suitable for all markets, or all uses.
Hyundai is taking a different approach. Instead of committing to one form of technology, the Korean company is now manufacturing models using four different approaches to electric power: Fully electric, hybrid, plug-in and hydrogen fuel cell.
“Most major carmakers are developing cars with electric motors, and there is a general understanding in the industry that this is the future, and that electric cars are essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the effects of climate change,” said Song. “The problem is how do we store the electricity needed to drive an electric motor? Electric power has always been possible, and in many ways better than internal combustion, but energy storage has always been the limiting factor.”
Until recently, most alternative drivetrains in production were hybrids, with an electric motor and internal combustion engine sharing the work of turning the wheels. Hybrids are being joined by a growing number of cars that only use an electric motor to move the car. These either rely on rechargeable batteries to store energy to drive the motor, or can be a plug-in hybrid, which has a battery-electric drivetrain, but with an internal combustion engine acting as a generator when the batteries cannot be recharged from an external power source.
Also arriving as a commercially available option are fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV), after many years of research and development and several high-profile prototypes. With an FCEV, the fuel cell generates electricity using a chemical reaction, in which liquid hydrogen is a key ingredient. The hydrogen is replaced at special filling stations, comparable to the way a conventional car is refueled with petrol.
Hyundai has been testing various electrified drivetrains for more than 25 years, has been offering hybrids as part of its international product line-up since 2009, and was the first company to offer a production fuel-cell model when it released the Tucson FCEV in 2014. Last year, the company launched its first dedicated eco-car platform, the IONIQ.
“Of the current technologies, hydrogen is the only one that matches the convenience of petrol or diesel for quick refueling, but it requires a big investment in infrastructure, and is more expensive,” said Song. “Fully electric vehicles need long periods of downtime to recharge their batteries, while hybrids offer reduced emissions vehicles rather than no emissions.


Dhaka-bound passengers from Jeddah reach home

Updated 24 May 2018
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Dhaka-bound passengers from Jeddah reach home

  • All 141 passengers and 10 crew members onboard were evacuated safely, and were cared for by the airline’s ground operations team and airport personnel.
Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), the national flag carrier of the Kingdom, greeted passengers returning to Dhaka following a brief stay in Jeddah due to an irregular occurrence on one of its aircraft.
Flight SV3818 operating from Madinah to Dhaka on Monday diverted to Jeddah for an emergency landing due to nose gear malfunction, which became apparent mid-flight. The aircraft was an Airbus A330-200, wet-leased to Saudia.
All 141 passengers and 10 crew members onboard were evacuated safely, and were cared for by the airline’s ground operations team and airport personnel.
Upon concluding all safety and health checks, the passengers were cleared to fly the next day. The Saudia ground operations team conducted all formalities and clearances in order for the guests to fly to Dhaka at 7:30 p.m. Jeddah local time on Tuesday.
Greeting the guests at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah prior to departure was Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, along with representatives from the airline, civil aviation authority and crew.
“Saudia thanks the onboard crew, General Authority of Civil Aviation, and King Abdul Aziz International Airport control for providing their cohesive, full support and cooperation during the event,” the airline said in a statement.
The flight arrived in Dhaka at 4:48 a.m. Dhaka time on Wednesday where they were met by the Saudia country manager and the station staff.
Currently in its 73rd year of operations, Saudia is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO).
The airline currently flies to 90 destinations across four continents with a fleet of 147 narrow and widebody aircraft.
At the 2017 Skytrax Awards held at the Paris Air Show, Saudia was awarded the “World’s Most Improved Airline” of the year.