SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon suggested Wednesday that police buses parked near the U.S. Embassy in central Seoul be replaced with hydrogen-powered buses as part of efforts to promote the use of the emission-free vehicles.
A few police buses are parked next to the U.S. Embassy around the clock to protect the mission from trespassers and serve as a resting place for policemen standing guard. The diesel-powered buses constantly emit exhaust gas as they idle to produce power for air conditioning and heating.
"I publicly propose that we begin to replace police buses, which are idling at Gwanghwamun, with hydrogen buses," Lee said during a weekly government policy coordination meeting. "If we do so, we can reduce fine dust in the city center and raise public interest in hydrogen vehicles so as to greatly contribute to increasing domestic demand (for such vehicles)."
Promoting the use of electric and hydrogen vehicles was a key topic for Wednesday's meeting.
Lee said that the government has been increasing infrastructure for electric vehicles, but drivers still complain that there are not enough charging stations. Lee also instructed officials to install more charging stations at locations easy to get to.
"Along with electric vehicles, we have to more actively develop hydrogen vehicles," Lee said. "We have world-class technologies in the hydrogen vehicle and fuel cell fields, and the hydrogen car that the president test-rode in Paris is a vehicle that one of our companies mass-produced for the first time in the world."
If South Korea is going to export more electric and hydrogen vehicles, domestic demand should also increase, Lee said, instructing officials to put together a set of deregulation measures aimed at increasing the use of such vehicles.
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