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Seoul mayor’s new car is hydrogen-powered

Oct 25,2019
In an effort to reduce his own carbon footprint in the world, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said in a climate conference Thursday that he will be driving a hydrogen-powered car from now on and that the city government will be subsidizing over 4,000 people who buy hydrogen vehicles.

“I will begin myself to reduce my carbon footprint to try to respond actively to climate crisis,” Park told the audience at the Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change 2019, hosted at Coex in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, on Thursday. “Clean energy cars are no longer one option out of many - they must be chosen out of necessity given the current state of the climate crisis.”

Park has chosen the hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexo. His electric vehicle (EV), a Hyundai Kona, which he had been using since December last year, will be used by the city government as a public vehicle.

The city government has 255 public EVs and two hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Seoul Metropolitan Government said it will be subsidizing over 4,000 buyers of hydrogen-powered cars into 2022.

Since last year, the city government has funded up to 35 million won ($29,861) per individual who bought a hydrogen vehicle, which, the city government said, covers about half the cost of a Hyundai Nexo.

As of this year, it has supported 591 buyers of hydrogen vehicles, according to the city government.

“So far, Seoul has had more people than other areas who want to buy hydrogen-powered cars - some of them had to wait up to a year before the cars became available,” the city government said. “Our support should help open up more hydrogen cars into the market.”

There are three hydrogen vehicle charging stations in Seoul, located in Yeouido, western Seoul, Sangam-dong in Mapo District, western Seoul, and in Yangjae-dong, Seocho District, southern Seoul.

“We will also be building more infrastructures for hydrogen vehicles,” Park said.

The city government plans to build additional charging stations, to have 10 available in the city by 2020.

“If an EV can run for 180 to 406 kilometers [111 to 252 miles] after a half an hour of charging, then a hydrogen car can run for 609 kilometers after five-minutes of charging,” the city government said in its statement. “Both EVs and hydrogen cars have zero carbon footprint.”

BY ESTHER CHUNG, PARK HAE-LEE [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]


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