Seoul City opens “a new era of electric vehicles” with no emission of air pollutants for public transportation. Seoul City Government announced that it will first operate 30 electric buses on the routes going through the green transportation area in the city from September. The green transportation district stretches 16.7 square kilometers within the Seoul City Wall. Around 2,000 city buses are currently running throughout the zone, on 73 routes.
Seoul City Government plans to increase the number of electric buses to 3,000 units or more than 40% of all city buses by 2025, starting with the 30 units this September. The city government has replaced all the 7,400 city buses running in the capital with CNG (Compressed natural gas) buses. Compared to diesel buses, CNG buses are more environmentally friendly but still produce emissions such as NOx.
Seoul Metropolitan Government provides subsidies for purchases (using the central & city government expenses) and installations of charging facilities (using the city government expenses) to promote the use of electric buses. The subsidies amount to \294 million per unit for electric buses while up to \50 million per unit for charging facilities. A typical electric bus costs around \400~500 million. The subsidies of \294 million-per-unit for vehicle purchases in 2018 are provided to lift the financial burden of the bus operators and promote the use of electric buses. The city government also provides the subsidies amounting up to \50 million for installation of a charging facility to build up charging infrastructure, which is absolutely necessary for the operation of electric buses.