A local business group has emerged in South Korea that is made up of 59 taxi, bus and logistics operators who have committed to phasing out their entire combustion fleets in favour of emissions-free options by the year 2030.
While the 59 taxi, bus and logistics operators and their local business group sound like the move is privately organised, it is in fact part of an eco-friendly initiative led by the S.Korean government. The group now consists of a total of 111 local companies and was launched in March by rental and lease companies. It was then later joined by more businesses in the manufacturing and financial sectors. Finally, four logistics companies; Lotte Global Logistics, CJ Logistics, SK Networks and Hyundai Glovis, and 55 bus and taxi operators across the country joined the group that agreed to change all their automobiles to electric or hydrogen vehicles by the end of 2030.
Currently, the total combined fleet fielded by the companies operates a total of 8,385 vehicles, 458 of which are already carbon-free. Starting with 57 more environmentally friendly vehicles this year, the logistics firms plan to buy or rent 800 eco-friendly vehicles by 2025, and 2,500 by 2030. The taxi and bus operators will introduce 380 emissions-free vehicles this year and expand the number to 2,900 by 2025 and finally to 5,900 by 2030.
The number adds up quickly: “That is about 33.5 per cent of the government’s goal of having 3.85 million carbon-free vehicles in the country,” South Korean Environment Minister Han Jeoung-ae said. The minister was also quick to point that vehicles like this are likely to have a far bigger impact on the environment due to their comparatively heavy use in comparison to private vehicles: “Those service vehicles mostly run close to people’s residential areas and their emissions cause a great deal of air pollution, so the transition to eco-friendly vehicles must be carried out.” This, of course, is not the end to the Korean government’s ambitions: “I hope the initiative will spread to the rest of our country, as our transportation industry leads this carbon neutralising movement,” Han concludes.