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Seoul to introduce low-speed electric vehicles for official use for first time

All Headlines 15:04 March 12, 2010

SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul metropolitan government will introduce dozens of low-speed electric vehicles for official use for the first time this year as part of efforts to promote environmently friendly cars, city officials said Friday.

A total of 35 neighborhood electric vehicles or NEVs, which run at a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour, will be put to use at fire stations and parks, officials said. Officials said 15 vehicles will be introduced in the first half of the year and the rest in the second half.

It will be the first time for the city government to put electric vehicles for official use, though such eco-friendly cars have been introduced at city-run parks and golf courses.

NEVs, powered by lithium-polymer battery, are priced at about 20 million won (US$17,652) per unit.

During the upcoming G-20 summit talks held in Seoul in November, the 20 NEVs, set to be introduced in the second half, will be first put to use to transport conference participants to promote the city's "green car policies." They will later be available in parks for the general public, officials said.

To further bolster eco-friendly vehicles, the city government is also considering designating the World Cup Park area in western Seoul as a "zero emission zone" where only green cars such as electric cars and hydrogen vehicles are allowed ahead of the G-20 summit.

It also plans to introduce 10 small-sized, normal-speed electric cars for the official use of the city government and the fire stations in Seoul.

"Developing green cars is becoming a global trend as they can address pollution and climate change-related problems," said Lee In-gun, a Seoul City official who is in charge of air quality management policies. "To encourage the private sector and individuals to buy green cars, we will come up with a variety of incentives such as tax benefits."

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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