New taxi service in South Korea will be making use of fuel cell vehicles

December 15, 2016 0 By Bret Williams

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Fuel cell vehicles will be operating in the city of Ulsan

A new hydrogen taxi service has launched in South Korea. Hyundai has brought ten of its ix35 vehicles, all equipped with hydrogen fuel cells, to the coastal city of Ulsan. The new taxi service will be operated by the Ministry of Environment, the Ulsan City Office, and Hyundai itself. The service will make use of the same measurement and fee system that conventional taxi services make use of. Hyundai is expected to expand the reach of the service in the near future, bringing more fuel cell vehicles to cities in South Korea.

South Korea shows strong support for hydrogen fuel cells

Lee Chung-seop, environment vice-minister, notes that fuel cell vehicles are the peak of environmentally friendly transportation. These vehicles do not produce any harmful emissions because they do not consume conventional fuels. Instead, the vehicles operate making use of the electricity that fuel cells generate. The only byproduct of this energy production is water vapor and oxygen. Lee Chung-seop believes that the new taxi service will expose more consumers to fuel cell vehicles, which may open up new opportunities for automakers making such cars.

Hyundai is among the first to launch fuel cell vehicles

Fuel Cell Vehicles - TaxiHyundai is one of the first major automakers to begin mass production on fuel cell vehicles. The first of Hyundai’s vehicles equipped with fuel cells was released in 2014, but the automaker has been researching this technology since 1998. Hyundai is also working on aiding in the development of a hydrogen infrastructure, which will supply fuel cell vehicles with the fuel they need to operate. Currently, only 10 hydrogen fuel stations have been opened in South Korea since 2014, with one of these stations having been built in Ulsan.

Fuel cells are gaining ground in the public transit space

Fuel cell vehicles face many challenges, such as the lack of infrastructure support, but they have been gaining popularity as public transit vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cells are notoriously expensive, which has made them somewhat unattractive to the general consumer. Several cities have begun embracing hydrogen fuel cells, however, and they have been putting these energy systems to use in public transit. This sector will likely continue drive the growth of the fuel cell market in South Korea and in other parts of the world.