South Korea requires diesel free zones and 30% EVs by 2020 on the way to cleaner air

As part of a plan to reduce growing air-pollution problems, the government of South Korea will be toughening restrictions on the use of old diesel vehicles, according to recent reports.

In addition to these efforts, the government will also be working to promote the use of “environmentally-friendly vehicles” (electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, etc) through various means.

Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

The Kia Soul EV is the first fully electric vehicle produced by a South Korean company.

Other related actions include the decision to close down old coal-fired power plants (those that have been in operation for more than 40 years); and limiting access to the downtown portions of the country’s capital Seoul for those driving old diesel vehicles; amongst other things.

The South Korean newspaper Yonhap provides more:

At a gathering of senior policymakers chaired by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, the government decided to take steps to make electric vehicles (EVs) account for 30% of all automobile sales by 2020.

…Other regulatory measures also include restricting the operations of diesel cars depending on air conditions. All diesel buses will be replaced with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, it added.

In response to worries that the fine-dust emissions control measures will interfere with people’s livelihoods, Hwang said the government will provide subsidies to small barbecue eateries so they can take steps, like setting up filtered vents to reduce the amount of dust particles released into the atmosphere, to prepare for the measures rather than the restrictions suddenly being put in place. The prime minister added that South Korea will also expand ties with neighboring countries considering the geographical position of the Korean Peninsula enables fine dust to come in from abroad.

The Prime Minister noted that the aim was for the quantity of fine dust in the country’s air to match that allowed in major European cities within a decade