The Ministry of Environment said in a statement on January 19 that the ministry has signed a cooperation agreement with Busan City, Ulsan City, South Gyeongsang Province and Hyundai Motor to adopt hydrogen buses. State money of up to about 300 million won ($252,000) will be provided as subsidies.
The environment ministry and Hyundai Motor will also cooperate to test one intercity hydrogen fuel cell bus. The eco-friendly long-distance bus will cover up to 101 kilometers (63 miles) per trip. The ministry and the carmaker will collect data about the NVH (noise, vibration, harshness), cost-effectiveness, and the performance of the bus through the test operation.
In order to establish a stable operation infrastructure of hydrogen buses, charging stations must be built. However, such stations were considered to be dangerous because of the general perception that they could explode. As of September 2021, only 112 stations were installed in South Korea. The environment ministry, Busan City, Ulsan City, and South Gyeongsang Province will jointly set up more than 3 hydrogen charging stations. More than 38 hydrogen charging stations will be built nationwide in 2022.
South Korea, which had a renewable energy dependency rate of 4.8 percent in 2020, is trying to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Seoul has accelerated the adoption of hydrogen and electric buses as part of its eco-friendly project that aims to operate some 1,000 hydrogen buses and build 11 hydrogen fueling stations by 2025. In January 2021, Seoul also adopted 27 electric buses to replace diesel buses.
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