South Korea Testing Diesel Emissions and Raising Bar on Green Vehicle Sales

The South Korean government will be enacting real-world emissions tests of diesel vehicles in 2017, and unveiled ambitious new targets for eco-friendly vehicle sales.

Presently Asia’s second largest diesel car market, South Korea has set its sites on air pollution and has raised its green vehicle target to 30 percent of new vehicles sales by 2020 – up from 2.6 percent currently. The South Korean government also promised to support growth in plug-in electrified vehicle sales by increasing new charging stations 10-fold.

The South Korean government wants to bring air quality up to western European levels within a decade. By 2019, the rule would scrap old diesel vehicles which were launched before 2005. It would also phase out diesel-powered buses and replace them with cleaner buses which run on compressed natural gas.

“The government acknowledges that fine dust is a grave environmental problem, which poses a threat to people’s safety and health,” the government said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: 1 Million ‘Green Cars’ on South Korean Roads By 2020

In December, South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MTIE) announced plans that would increase the number of traditional gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in electric hybrids (PHEV), pure electric vehicles (EV), and hydrogen fuel cell cars to 20 percent of all sales by the year 2020.

“The goal is to create a full-fledged market for eco-friendly cars by 2020,” the Ministry said.

Last month, the government found some diesel vehicles emitted up to 21 times more nitrogen oxides on the roads than at laboratories in tests conducted in the wake of Volkswagen’s emissions-test cheating scandal. This week, the government said it would decide whether to increase the price of diesel fuel after conducting research and holding a public hearing.

The government will also shut down or take other measures on 10 thermal power plants which were more than 30-years-old to curtail emissions.