The city government said it will vastly expand its fleet of environmentally friendly buses in the next four years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs. Starting with just 20 CNG hybrid buses this year, Seoul will gradually increase that number to 2,100 by 2018, reported Yonhap, South Korea’s largest news agency.
“If regular CNG-powered buses are what contributed to better air quality in the city, it will be CNG hybrids that will clear the city’s air and cut down energy spending at once,” said Kang Hui-eun, an eco-friendly transportation manager at the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
These buses will be able to switch between electricity and natural gas to operate at lower and higher speeds, respectively. They will also come with low floors to accommodate for disabled passengers. According to the city government, the entire fleet of 2,100 CNG hybrid buses will save a total of 226.8 billion won (US$218.6 million) and cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 3,124 tons over nine years.
The introduction of these CNG hybrids comes following a successful trial run of seven vehicles between July and October of last year. The results showed 34.5 percent greater fuel efficiency and 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to their non-hybrid counterparts.