SEOUL -- Helped by a government campaign to popularize eco-friendly vehicles, the number of electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles doubled in the first quarter of this year
The Ministry of Environment said in a statement that 12,140 eco-friendly vehicles are in operation in South Korea in the first quarter of this year, up 109 percent from 5,796 operated during the same period of last year. Among this year's total, 11,096 were electric vehicles (EVs).
The number of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) increased to 1,044, up 455.3 percent from last year's 188. The ministry analyzed that Hyundai Motor's Porter Electric, a one-ton-class electric truck released in December last year, has boosted the distribution of EVs while expanded charging infrastructure attracted consumers.
"Through the continuous expansion of distribution, we will open an era of 200,000 future cars this year," Keum Han-seung, an environment ministry official, was quoted as saying,
Through a government campaign to encourage the wider use of eco-friendly vehicles, carmakers are obliged to manufacture 15 percent of low-emission vehicles from their total car production.
The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), a state electricity company, will support the operators of small electric vehicle charging service stations with a cloud-based management system to boost the expansion of charging infrastructure for eco-friendly cars.
Hyundai, the country's top carmaker has revealed plans to open an EV charging station with eight ultra-fast chargers in a remodeled gas station in eastern Seoul this year.
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