▷ The car sharing service with 15 hydrogen fuel cell cars and 27 electric cars will be launched.
▷ The Ministry of the Environment plans to increase the number of hydrogen-fueled cars for the car sharing service, and expand the service to South Jeolla Province.
The Ministry of Environment ("ME," Minister Cho KyeungKyu), Gwangju Metropolitan Government, Gwangju Center for Creative Economy & Innovation and Hyundai Motor Company held an official ceremony to kick off a 'hydrogen fuel cell vehicle & electric vehicle sharing service' on March 6 at the Gwangju City Hall.
The official ceremony was joined by participants including Environment Minister Cho KyeungKyu, Gwangju Mayor Yoon Jang-hyun and Hyundai Motors Vice President Park Gwang-sik.
This is the first time when hydrogen-fueled cars to be available for rent. Up until now, electric cars have been used for the car sharing service since 2012.
The car sharing service is for those who need cars for less than one hour. Customers can make reservations and payment online or via smartphone app, and pick up and return the car at a designated parking lot.
The Ministry of Environment and Gwangju Metropolitan Government will launch the car sharing pilot service with 15 hydrogen-fueled vehicles and 27 electric vehicles. When the business value is demonstrated, ME will expand the number of vehicles and the scope of service to nearby areas including South Jeolla Province.
ME and Gwangju provided KRW 27.5 million of subsidies for purchasing hydrogen fuel cell cars, and KRW 14 million of national expenditure and KRW 7 million of local government expenditure for purchasing electric vehicles. Jecar, the car sharing service operator, will be in charge of vehicle maintenance and operation and Hyundai Motors will offer aftercare services.
The car sharing service is aimed at giving people an opportunity to ride in zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell cars and electric cars. And, the pilot service is noteworthy in that the Ministry of Environment and local government, an automaker and a local car sharing company join hands to validate the car sharing business model using eco-friendly vehicles.
The fuel cell car is Hyundai Tucson Ix, the world's first mass-produced hydrogen fuel cell car since 2013, and electric vehicles are Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Motors Soul.
The rent will cost KRW 3,950 for hydrogen fuel cell car and KRW 3,120 for electric vehicle per 30 minutes. The driving fee will cost KRW 55 for electric car and KRW 110 for hydrogen-fueled car per 1 km. So, the rent is comparable with that of regular cars, but the driving fee is less costly.
Tucson Ix has a range of 415 kilometers with a full battery, while Soul and Ioniq has a range of 148 kilometers and 191 kilometers respectively. Thus, hydrogen fuel cell car will be suitable for long-distance driving and electric car will be preferred for short-distance ride.
Environment Minister Cho KyeungKyu said that "The high costs of hydrogen fuel cell cars and electric cars made it difficult for citizens to experience them, but the car sharing service will give a good chance to ride in fuel cell vehicles." "I hope the service will help raise the public awareness on eco-friendly cars and encourage the public to purchase hydrogen fuel cell and electric vehicles," he added.