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Korea speeds up plan to build 200 charging stations for green cars

The South Korean government is moving to fast-track its plans to build around 200 stations to charge engines operated by electricity, fuel cells and liquefied petroleum gas by 2025 by holding discussions with legislators and preparing due revision bills.

The Ministry of Land Transport is set to unveil plans to open multipurpose service areas for motorists driving green cars at a roundtable discussion to be held Friday together with the National Assembly and the ministries of environment and commerce.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

On Thursday, the Transport Ministry released details of the envisioned plan, including how the stations will house not only chargers but also restaurants and other amenities for customer convenience.

The government plans to provide such business opportunities to private operators for the next 30 years, and locate the stations in highways and beltways across the country. Excess profits generated from the businesses will be reinvested into government-led fuel cell research projects, according to officials.

To speed up the process, the government intends to submit related bills within the first half of the year and select private companies to operate the businesses next year.

Each planned station will be required to have at least one hydrogen charger as well as a plug for pure electric vehicles, an official from the ministry said. The stations will be capable of generating and distributing fuel cells from LPG, as well as producing electricity from fuel cells.

The plan is part of the government-led project aimed at shifting the use of fossil fuels to zero emitters including fuel cells.

In a speech Friday, Transport Minister Kang Ho-in is set to urge related ministries and legislators to join hands to secure the future engine of growth and create new jobs by promoting “hydrogen technology.”

Establishing infrastructure such as charging stations and supporting R&D projects on green energy are part of promoting the new technology, officials said. The government also believes that promoting hydrogen technology could help the nation to better deal with climate change as well as micro dust pollution.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)

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