SEOUL, Jul. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) drew media attention last week when she showed up in a white hydrogen-fueled SUV vehicle during her visit to Cheonan, a move that signals the government’s effort to push renewable fuel vehicles.
Kim Hyun-mee, who heads the MOLIT, was seen riding in a Hyundai Tuscon ix last Thursday when she was in Cheonan to learn about successful examples of New Deal projects. The Tucson ix is a hydrogen fuel cell SUV, a far cry from what most would expect from highly-placed government officials, who typically travel in black luxury sedans.
With the labels ‘Tuscon ix’ and ‘FuelCell’ visibly showing on the rear of the vehicle, it was clear the minister was conveying the government’s pro-clean energy message through her choice of car.
According to the MOLIT, Minister Kim has been using the hydrogen-fueled vehicle as her official government car since her inauguration to travel within Sejong City, where many of the government buildings are located, and to neighboring cities. The Tucson has a range of up to 415 kilometers on a single tank.
As the lack of hydrogen fueling stations and the high price remain challenges to be faced, numerous government branches have been introducing measures to address the issue, with the MOLIT introducing a 50 percent toll fee discount for hydrogen-fueled cars beginning in September.
Kim’s move to use an alternative fuel car follows her predecessor Kang Ho-in, a former minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport who first used a Tuscon ix for government business.
Government officials at the Ministry of Environment, which officiate emission certifications, are also said to have opted for Hyundai’s Sonata hybrid and IONIQ hybrid models.