Seoul ramps up efforts to transition to electric transportation

Date 2021-09-07 Writer seoulsolution

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) plans to deliver 270,000 electric vehicles for public transportation by 2025 as part of efforts to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.


Transportation accounts for one fifth (19.2 per cent) of all the South Korean capital’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Electric push


To achieve this goal, the city government plans to raise the supply of new vehicles by 50 per cent annually to 175,000 cars by 2025. As part of this plan, approximately 15 per cent or 10,000 of all taxis in the capital will be electric by 2025. The SMG also plans to install charging stations at taxi garages.

Additionally, the city will add a total of 3,500 buses to its public bus fleets by 2025. This will make more than 40 per cent of all Seoul’s buses electric. Starting from 2021, public bus companies are required to purchase only zero-emission vehicles. Older fossil fuel buses will be the first to be replaced by electric ones. The SMG aims to provide electric buses to religious organisations, private companies, and tourist agencies in the near future.

Seoul will add 62,000 electric motorcycles by 2025. In particular, the city reports that every one of the 35,000 motorcycles used for delivery services will be replaced with electric motors. In addition, the SMG will add 19,000 electric trucks. All new package delivery trucks will be electric starting in 2022. As for school buses, 20 electric vehicles will operate this year as a pilot programme. The SMG said it hopes to achieve a conversion of every school bus to electric from 2023.


Historically, Seoul subsidised sales of electric vehicles. Now, it will add additional incentives by expanding charging infrastructures. By installing 200,000 additional electric charging stations by 2025, the ambition is that there will be only a five-minute walking distance between the stations, making EV charging more convenient for 500,000 new EV owners.

Rapid charging stations will be installed at major transportation hubs, such as parking lots for transit, public, athletic and cultural facilities. In residential and office facilities, slow charging stations will be installed. In particular, the SMG will use resident-priority parking lots to provide charging stations in densely populated areas with inadequate EV infrastructures.


“By building more charging infrastructures in advance, the SMG will make a city where electric cars are easy to drive,” said Yoo Yeon-Sik, director general of climate and environment.


Citizen engagement


In a separate announcement, the SMG reports that one fifth of all citizens (2.225 million) had signed up to “eco mileage", the city’s energy-saving incentive programme launched in 2009.


The city’s inhabitants’ participation in the programme, has led to a reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of some 2.387 million tons, equivalent to the creation of forests with a size of 3.7 times the total area of Seoul or to planting 361.63 million 30-year-old pine trees, according to the SMG.


The city offered mileages to households, schools, and enterprises that joined the programme and reduced carbon emissions by saving electricity, water, and city gas. Using the allocated mileages, citizens were able to pay taxes, purchase gift vouchers that can be used in traditional markets, donate trees to be planted in deserts, or participate in other low-carbon activities.