In order to gradually transform the current buses and taxis in use in the Korean capital into eco-friendly, green vehicles, Seoul City started a trial operation of LPi hybrid taxis on Dec. 3, 2009 – a global first. In addition, the city began a trial service of electric buses that run on three circular routes near Namsan (Mt.) as part of its plan to replace all buses and taxis with hybrid or electric vehicles by 2020. The move is drawing attention from foreign influential media outlets, who have expressed their interest in Seoul’s eco-friendly and green policy.
The project to replace vehicles for public transportation services with hybrid or electric cars, which has been underway since last year, is gradually paying off, based on South Korea’s advanced technology on electric vehicles. In March of last year, Seoul City launched a team to develop and distribute eco-friendly, green cars for the first time among local governments, here. Also, the city is at the forefront of amending the relevant regulations and building infrastructure for green cars by exchanging policies with foreign cities, such as London and Los Angeles.
In particular, Seoul City and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have jointly pushed for a project to develop an electric car that can be “recharged on roadways while running.” The city is also working with LG CNS to develop a rapid-recharging system for electric passenger cars and electric buses, based on the nation’s advanced electric vehicle technology. Many experts say these projects involve superior technology compared to the similar projects in other foreign cities. As a result of such efforts, officials from foreign cities are increasingly visiting Seoul to benchmark the advanced technology being utilized by the city and local firms and to exchange information.
The world has become enamored with the development and distribution of green cars and many observers admit that the ‘era of the green car’ has become the latest catchphrase. Advanced nations have also been viewing the eco-friendly car industry as a growth driver for the future. The project to develop eco-friendly, green cars by Seoul City is expected to promote the development of the relevant industries by expanding the demand for these vehicles.
an attempt to improve the air quality and ease traffic congestion in the city, Seoul City Mayor Oh Se-hoon replaced conventional buses with natural gas-powered ones and encouraged the equipping of trucks with a device to reduce their gas emissions. The city also introduced 10 hybrid taxies as part of its plan to replace more than 72,000 taxis in Seoul with eco-friendly vehicles. Seoul City plans to distribute 70 hybrid taxis in 2010, 10,000 by 2015 and 36,000 by 2020. Also, the city plans to kick off a service of electric taxis in 2011.