Press Release

Board View

An MOU was signed by the Ministry of Environment, transportation companies, local governments, and companies to convert commuter buses to hydrogen buses

▷ Transitioning to hydrogen commuter buses is expected to accelerate the popularization of hydrogen buses

Sejong, May 10 - On May 4, the Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) signed an MOU with seven companies, 12 local governments, and seven transportation companies to convert commuter buses to hydrogen buses. With the launch of hydrogen high-floor buses in April 2023, low-floor and high-floor buses, such as inter-regional and commuter buses, can be converted into hydrogen buses. The Ministry of Environment plans to gradually replace commuter buses, essential for daily life, with hydrogen buses through a public-private partnership to increase the distribution of hydrogen high-floor buses.

Hydrogen buses have mainly been distributed to fulfill the needs of the local government. The MOU is a turning point for expanding hydrogen bus adoption from public institutions to private companies as it contains companies' voluntary declaration of hydrogen bus conversion. It is expected to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen buses as a viable transportation option.

The goal of the MOU is to transform 250 commuter buses from the involved companies into hydrogen buses by 2023 and eventually raise that number to 2,000 buses by 2026. The roles of each participating organization are as follows.

The Ministry of Environment will assist in purchasing hydrogen buses and extend their warranty period to achieve the objectives set out in the MOU. Moreover, they will offer policy and financial support to expand hydrogen refueling stations and promote ESG values among transportation and related companies.

Local governments will work to secure enough purchase subsidies and ensure timely execution for the quick transition to hydrogen buses. They will also collaborate to accelerate the expansion of hydrogen refueling infrastructure.

Seven companies will collaborate with transportation companies to provide bus operation services and strive to convert commuter buses to hydrogen buses.

Hyundai Motor Company, a hydrogen bus manufacturer, will produce and provide enough hydrogen buses to ensure the smooth achievement of the MOU's goals. SK E&S will also install and manage liquefied hydrogen refueling stations to minimize inconvenience when charging hydrogen-powered commuter buses. All participating organizations will share their progress on the agreement while promoting using hydrogen commuter buses as a best practice for ESG.

The Ministry of Environment has set a goal to distribute 4.5 million zero-emission vehicles and 300,000 hydrogen vehicles to meet the 2030 NDC targets for the transportation sector. The Ministry has formed a 'support team for distributing commercial hydrogen vehicles' to further communicate with local governments, manufacturers, and transportation providers.

Hydrogen vehicles have several benefits, including quick charging and long driving ranges. However, some entry barriers exist, such as worries about inconvenient charging and lack of awareness compared to electric vehicles. By actively communicating and addressing these concerns, hydrogen vehicles can be sufficiently distributed. As a result of communication efforts, the conversion of commuter buses to hydrogen buses has been agreed upon.

Rather than merely increasing the number of hydrogen buses, the Ministry plans to introduce a new brand of hydrogen buses by collaborating with transportation companies to make them more familiar to the public in their daily life. Additionally, the Ministry is partnering with concerned authorities to enhance policies and increase support for high-floor hydrogen buses.

Environment Minister Han Wha-jin stated, "Converting hydrogen buses to commuter buses that travel along people's everyday life will accelerate the popularization of hydrogen cars." She added, "The Ministry will speed up the supply of hydrogen cars by quickly converting airport limousine buses and local city buses to hydrogen buses."

Contact: Kim Yoo-ran Deputy Director

Air Quality Future Strategy Division / +82-(0)44-201-6881

Foreign Media Contact: Chun Minjo(Rachel)

+82-(0)44-201-6055 /